Photoreversible chain extension of poly(ethylene glycol)

Scott R. Trenor, Timothy Edward Long*, Brian J. Love

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Coumarin containing poly(ethylene glycol) monols and diols were prepared in a telechelic fashion using quantitative end group esterification. The coumarin modified poly(ethylene glycol) monols and diols were solution cast into films (1 to 15 μm) and chain extended via the dimerization of the coumarin derivatives with UVA (>300 nm) light irradiation. The coumarin-modified PEG diol doubled in molecular weight, and the molecular weight distribution increased from 1.17 to 2.75 upon exposure to 110 J·cm-2 of UVA light. The chain extended poly(ethylene glycol)s were subsequently converted to their original molecular weight via the photocleavage reaction of the coumarin dimer at 254 nm with less than 2 J·cm-2. The photoreversible chain length modulation was monitored utilizing GPC, DSC and UV-Vis spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-723
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr 23
Externally publishedYes


  • Coumarin
  • Photochemistry
  • Reversible chain-extension
  • Telechelics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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