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Problem Addressed

The ability to initiate and control radical polymerization using light (photo-CRP) has been a recent topic of great interest in polymer chemistry. In photo-CRP applications, light can be used to activate a suitable photoredox catalyst, which induces a controlled polymerization reaction that can be terminated by shutting off the light. However, to date, nobody has designed a polymerization reaction that is responsive not only to light, but simultaneously to other types of external stimuli such as heat. Furthermore, readily recyclable photoredox catalysts are limited in scope. This type of multi-stimuli-responsive CRP, which integrates different environmental cues to produce unique polymers, could lead to the production of a much more diverse array of polymers while maintaining low catalyst loadings.