Research and projects
Mechanical force is a formidable, and relatively unexplored, source of energy that, with its ability to distort, bend and stretch chemical bonds, is unique in the way it activates chemical reactions. The precise control of this force could revolutionise how we build and rearrange molecular structures and change the way we think about chemical transformations. Precise control of this force can be achieved when the chemical entity that is the subject of the mechanical force (a “mechanophore”) is embedded within a polymeric backbone. Indeed, pulling both ends of a macromolecule apart creates highly directional strain with its highest intensity in the middle of the chain. The aim of our research is to design, synthesize and study new mechanophores that can catalytically harness mechanical energy to induce unusual chemical transformations.