Deformation-induced color changes in mechanochromic polyethylene blends

Brent R. Crenshaw, Mark Burnworth, Devang Khariwala, Anne Hiltner, Patrick T. Mather, Robert Simha, Christoph Weder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


A detailed and systematic investigation of mechanochromic, melt-processed blends between a series of polyethylenes (PE) with crystallinities ranging from 9 to 66% and two excimer-forming, photoluminescent oligo(phenylenevinylene) dyes is described. A dramatic increase in the nucleation rate of dye aggregates, and therewith a decrease in the size of the aggregates, is observed upon grafting long alkyl tails onto the chromophore. The extent of color change observed upon deformation of these materials, and thus the ability of the polymer host to break up dye aggregates upon deformation, is related to the plastic deformation process of PE crystallites - specifically those arranged in a lamellar morphology - and increases with increasing polymer crystallinity, decreasing dye aggregate size, and decreasing rates of deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2400-2408
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 3 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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