Photoresponsive gels prepared by ring-opening metathesis polymerization

Patricia Gumbley, Xiaoran Hu, John A. Lawrence, Samuel W. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This communication describes photoresponsive gels, prepared using ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), that dissolve upon irradiation with ultraviolet light. Exposure of mixtures of norbornene-type ROMP monomers and new photoreactive cross-linkers comprising two norbornene units bound through a chain containing o- nitrobenzyl esters (NBEs) to well-known ruthenium carbene catalysts gave cross-linked polymer networks that swelled in organic solvents or water depending on the structure of the monomer. These gels became homogeneous upon irradiation with UV light, consistent with breaking of the cross-links through photolysis of the NBE groups. The irradiation time required for homogenization of the gels depended on the cross-link density and the structure of the photoresponsive cross-linker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1838-1843
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Crosslinking
  • Gels
  • Hydrogels
  • Photochemistry
  • Ringopening metathesis polymerization (ROMP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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