Modification of Polysulfide Surfaces with Low-Power Lasers

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The modification of polymer surfaces using laser light is important for many applications in the nano-, bio- and chemical sciences. Such capabilities have supported advances in biomedical devices, electronics, information storage, microfluidics, and other applications. In most cases, these modifications require high power lasers that are expensive and require specialized equipment and facilities to minimize risk of hazardous radiation. Additionally, polymer systems that can be easily modified by lasers are often complex and costly to prepare. In this report, these challenges are addressed with the discovery of low-cost sulfur copolymers that can be rapidly modified with lasers emitting low-power infrared and visible light. The featured copolymers are made from elemental sulfur and either cyclopentadiene or dicyclopentadiene. Using a suite of lasers with discreet wavelengths (532, 638 and 786 nm) and powers, a variety of surface modifications could be made on the polymers such as controlled swelling or etching via ablation. The facile synthesis and laser modification of these polymer systems were exploited in applications such as direct laser lithography and erasable information storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202404802
Number of pages10
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number23
Early online date19 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2024


  • direct laser lithography
  • inverse vulcanization
  • polymer ablation
  • polysulfide
  • sulfur


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