October 31, 2014 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
We are interested in exploiting metal-coordination in polymer systems, creating optically active metallopolymers. Our current approach is to use transition metals such as Fe3+ coordinated to polymers like polysaccharides. The transition metal ions allow for new optical activity in which the bonding interactions and polymer cross-linking can be controlled with light. We created photoresponsive Fe-polycarboxylate materials that show changes in mechanical properties after light irradiation. There are unexpected differences in the photoreactivity in the materials due to structural differences in polysaccharides. These photoresponsive Fe-coordination materials have also been used to create small hydrogel capsules capable of carrying a cargo inside the gel network. Photolysis of the capsules leads to light-controlled release of the cargo. Future work will focus on tuning the photoreactivity of these metal coordination materials using different transition metal ions and polymers.