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A new stress-detecting polymer that shines brighter when stretched could be used to measure the performance of synthetic polymers and track deterioration in materials that are used in engineering and construction.
Scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) integrated copper complexes (copper atoms linked to organic molecules) into the polymer polybutylacrylate. They found that the copper complexes glowed when exposed to ultraviolet light. When the polymer was stretched, the copper complexes emitted light at a greater intensity, leading to a brighter glow. In essence, the copper complexes were acting as mechanophores — compounds that undergo a change when triggered by a mechanical…READ MORE