“Smart” degradable polymers: polymers with locked degradability that can be unlocked on demand

How to Apply

Interested in participating in this research project? Contact the professor or graduate student listed below.


Dr. Junpeng Wang (Polymer Science) | jwang6@uakron.edu

Graduate Student

Tze-Gang Hsu | th164@zips.uakron.edu

Project Description

Synthetic degradable polymers are of pivotal importance for recycling and sustainability. While the degradability allows polymers to be recycled, it can also cause stability issue, which impairs the storage and functioning of materials. This research project describes a new class of polymer, in which the cleavable group that enables degradability is locked in a cyclic molecule with a mechanophore and the polymer is stable under storage and functioning conditions; when the polymer needs to be degraded, the mechanophore can be activated under mechanical force to enable the degradability to be unlocked. This new class of polymer addresses the stability of degradable polymers and allows degradability to be unlocked on demand and can be used in many current and next-generation applications.

Project Date

Fall 2019

Search Terms

Advanced Materials, Sustainability, For Credit, Non-Credit, Funded, Non-Funded, STEM