American Chemical Society
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Insights into the Correlation of Microscopic Motions of [c2]Daisy Chains with Macroscopic Mechanical Performance for Mechanically Interlocked Networks

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-23, 14:34 authored by Zhaoming Zhang, Wei You, Peitong Li, Jun Zhao, Zhewen Guo, Tingjie Xu, Jieqi Chen, Wei Yu, Xuzhou Yan
Mimicking filament sliding in sarcomeres using artificial molecular muscles such as [c2]daisy chains has aroused increasing interest in developing advanced polymeric materials. Although few bistable [c2]daisy chain-based mechanically interlocked polymers (MIPs) with stimuli-responsive behaviors have been constructed, it remains a significant challenge to establish the relationship between microscopic responsiveness of [c2]daisy chains and macroscopic mechanical properties of the corresponding MIPs. Herein, we report two mechanically interlocked networks (MINs) consisting of dense [c2]daisy chains with individual extension (MIN-1) or contraction (MIN-2) conformations decoupled from a bistable precursor, which serve as model systems to address the challenge. Upon external force, the extended [c2]daisy chains in MIN-1 mainly undergo elastic deformation, which is able to assure the strength, elasticity, and creep resistance of the corresponding material. For the contracted [c2]daisy chains, long-range sliding motion occurs along with the release of latent alkyl chains between the two DB24C8 wheels, and accumulating lots of such microscopic motions endows MIN-2 with enhanced ductility and ability of energy dissipation. Therefore, by decoupling a bistable [c2]daisy chain into individual extended and contracted ones, we directly correlate the microscopic motion of [c2]daisy chains with macroscopic mechanical properties of MINs.