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Energy densities of ~510 J/g (max: 698 J/g) have been achieved in azobenzene-based syndiotactic-rich poly(methacrylate) polymers. The processing solvent and polymer-solvent interactions are important to achieve morphologically optimal structures for high-energy density materials. This work shows that morphological changes of solid-state syndiotactic polymers, driven by different solvent processings play an important role in controlling the activation energy of Z-E isomerization as well as the shape of the DSC exotherm. Thus, this study shows the crucial role of processing solvents and thin film structure in achieving higher energy densities.
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Jeong, Seung Pyo; Renna, Lawrence A.; Boyle, Connor J.; Kwak, Hyunwook S.; Harder, Edward; Damm, Wolfgang; and Venkataraman, Dhandapani, "High Energy Density in Azobenzene-based Materials for Photo-Thermal Batteries via Controlled Polymer Architecture and Polymer-Solvent Interactions" (2017). Scientific Reports. 1447.