New fluorochromic materials that reversibly change their emission properties in response to their environment are of interest for the development of sensors and light‐emitting materials. A new design of Eu‐containing polymer hydrogels showing fast self‐healing and tunable fluorochromic properties in response to five different stimuli, including pH, temperature, metal ions, sonication, and force, is reported. The polymer hydrogels are fabricated using Eu–iminodiacetate (IDA) coordination in a hydrophilic poly(N,N‐dimethylacrylamide) matrix. Dynamic metal–ligand coordination allows reversible formation and disruption of hydrogel networks under various stimuli which makes hydrogels self‐healable and injectable. Such hydrogels show interesting switchable ON/OFF luminescence along with the sol–gel transition through the reversible formation and dissociation of Eu–IDA complexes upon various stimuli. It is demonstrated that Eu‐containing hydrogels display fast and reversible mechanochromic response as well in hydrogels having interpenetrating polymer network. Those multistimuli responsive fluorochromic hydrogels illustrate a new pathway to make smart optical materials, particularly for biological sensors where multistimuli response is required.
Advanced Materials – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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