Ultrasonic Cavitation Induced Shape-Memory Effect in Porous Polymer Networks


Inspired by the application of ultrasonic cavitation based mechanical force (CMF) to open small channels in natural soft materials (skin or tissue), it is explored whether an artificial polymer network can be created, in which shape-changes can be induced by CMF. This concept comprises an interconnected macroporous rhodium-phosphine (Rh-P) coordination polymer network, in which a CMF can reversibly dissociate the Rh-P microphases. In this way, the ligand exchange of Rh-P coordination bonds in the polymer network is accelerated, resulting in a topological rearrangement of molecular switches. This rearrangement of molecular switches enables the polymer network to release internal tension under ultrasound exposure, resulting in a CMF-induced shape-memory capability. The interconnected macroporous structure with thin pore walls is essential for allowing the CMF to effectively permeate throughout the polymer network. Potential applications of this CMF-induced shape-memory polymer can be mechanosensors or ultrasound controlled switches.
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