Chemistry Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



Macromolecular Rapid Communications





First Page

1800173 (1)

Last Page

1800173 (6)

URL with Digital Object Identifier


The temperature-dependent depolymerization of self-immolative poly(ethyl glyoxylate) (PEtG) capped with triphenylmethyl (trityl) groups was studied and its potential application for smart packaging was explored. PEtGs with four different trityl end-caps were prepared and found to undergo depolymerization to volatile products from the solid state at different rates depending on temperature and the electron-donating substituents on the trityl aromatic rings. Through the incorporation of hydrophobic dyes including Nile red and IR-780, the depolymerization was visualized as a color change of the dye as it changed from a dispersed to aggregated state. The ability of this platform to provide information on thermal history through an easily readable signal makes it promising in smart packaging applications for sensitive products such a food and other cargo that is susceptible to degradation.


"This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Fan, B., Salazar, R. & Gillies, E.R. (2018). Depolymerization of Trityl End-capped Poly(ethyl glyoxylate): Potential Applications in Smart Packaging. Macromolecular Rapid Communications, 39(11), 1800173 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."

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