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Understanding the Role of Mechanochemistry in Novel Manufacturing and Synthesis Processes

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Dr. Jessica Nelson
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Understanding the Role of Mechanochemistry in Novel Manufacturing and Synthesis Processes

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Mechanochemistry, the study of chemical reactions triggered by mechanical force, has recently gained spotlight for its potential in the development of new manufacturing and synthesis processes. This branch of science explores the effects of shear-induced deformation on the energetics of mechanochemical oligomerization reactions of cyclohexene. Both reactive molecular dynamics simulations and ball-on-flat tribometer experiments have been used to investigate this, revealing an exponential increase in reaction yield with shear stress.

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Role of Surface Oxygen Atoms

Further, the research sheds light on the critical role of surface oxygen atoms in these oligomerization reactions. The presence of oxygen in the polymers and its significant role in the reactions have been brought to the fore. This is a crucial finding as it provides insights into the mechanisms underlying mechanical activation and stress-induced deformation at the molecular level.

Influence of Solvent Polarity

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Another aspect that has been investigated is the influence of solvent polarity on the force-coupled kinetics of spiropyran ring opening in polymer matrices. The results demonstrate that more polar solvents lead to mechanochemical reactions that are easier to trigger. There is a decrease in the transition force across a series of solvents, and the force dependence of the rate constant also increases with solvent polarity. This indicates a shift in the transition state to a more product-like position.

Shock-Induced Chemical Reactions

In addition to shear-induced deformation, shock-induced chemical reactions in reactive powder mixtures have also been studied. A macroscopic mathematical model has been proposed for shock-induced chemical reactions, based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) for particle-scale simulation. This exploration has also proposed a schematic experimental arrangement for determining critical reaction pressure and rate constant.

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Strain Engineering in Graphene Stacking

Further studies have been conducted on achieving stable ABC stacking in trilayer graphene through a novel strain engineering technique. The technique demonstrates a highly anisotropic and significant transformation of ABA stacking to large and stable ABC domains.

Development of Nano-sensors

Finally, leveraging the principles of mechanochemistry, a highly stretchable, sensitive, and healable polyurethane-urea/graphene nanocomposite sensor has been developed. The sensor can simultaneously acquire temperature and strain signals, making it ideal for wearable devices in human health and sports monitoring.

In conclusion, the study of mechanochemistry opens up a plethora of opportunities in numerous fields, including manufacturing, synthesis processes, and sensor development. The research into molecular deformation and energy barrier reduction by mechanical stress continues to provide valuable insights into shear-driven mechanochemical reactions.

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