Unclicking the Click: Mechanically Facilitated 1,3-Dipolar Cycloreversions

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Science  16 Sep 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6049, pp. 1606-1609
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207934

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The specific targeting of covalent bonds in a local, anisotropic fashion using mechanical methods offers useful opportunities to direct chemical reactivity down otherwise prohibitive pathways. Here, we report that embedding the highly inert 1,2,3-triazole moiety (which is often prepared using the canonical “click” coupling of azides and alkynes) within a poly(methyl acrylate) chain renders it susceptible to ultrasound-induced cycloreversion, as confirmed by comprehensive spectroscopic and chemical analyses. Such reactivity offers the opportunity to develop triazoles as mechanically labile protecting groups or for use in readily accessible materials that respond to mechanical force.

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