Command-Destruct Thermosets via Photoinduced Thiol-Catalyzed ß-Scission of Acyclic Benzylidene Acetals

Photoinduced thiol-catalyzed hydrogen abstraction and ß-scission of acyclic benzylidene acetals is demonstrated as a new route to “command-destruct” polymer thermosets. Using this approach, we show that poly(thioether acetal) networks synthesized via thiol-ene photopolymerization rapidly degrade to alkyl benzoate byproducts when triggered with light, transitioning from solid to liquid within seconds. The light-driven construction and destruction processes, accessible via distinct differences in kinetics, are readily amendable for photopatterning, additive/subtractive manufacturing and wavelength-selective applications.