Christopher Bowman have combined the facile formation of a Diels-Alder molecular scaffold with spatially and temporally selective photopolymerization. Their invention provides a method for “fixation” (photo-fixation, when light-activated) of otherwise reversible DA crosslinks in a polymer network.
These photofixed materials and the photolithographic strategy employed to make them have far reaching implications in the field of photopolymerization. Any application that can benefit from spatial and temporal control of polymerization reactions will be greatly enhanced by the simplicity of this fixation technology. Just a few of the many possible applications of this type of 3D polymerization control include 3D prototyping and printing, microfabrication, and flexographic printing.
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