American Chemical Society

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Chemicals On Demand with Phototriggerable Microcapsules

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posted on 2009-09-30, 00:00 authored by Stefan J. Pastine, David Okawa, Alex Zettl, Jean M. J. Fréchet
We report the development of phototriggerable microcapsules and demonstrate the concept of protection and remote release of chemical species. Light-rupturable, liquid-filled microcapsules were prepared by coencapsulation of carbon nanotubes using a simple and robust interfacial polymerization technique. The incorporation of carbon nanotubes endows the microcapsules with the ability to respond to an external optical event. The triggered release of the liquid contents for the microcapsules may be achieved either in air or within a liquid medium via irradiation with a near-IR laser. Rupture of the impermeable shell-wall under irradiation is presumed to be due to an increase in internal pressure due to optothermal heating of the CNTs. The storage and triggered release of reactive small molecules and catalysts was demonstrated in the context of remotely initiated “click” reaction and ring-opening metathesis polymerization.