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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Polymers with low ceiling temperatures (Tc) are highly desirable as they can depolymerize under mild conditions, but they typically suffer from demanding synthetic conditions and poor stability. We envision that this challenge can be addressed by developing high-Tcpolymers that can be converted into low-Tcpolymers on demand. Here, we demonstrate the mechanochemical generation of a low-Tcpolymer, poly(2,5-dihydrofuran) (PDHF), from an unsaturated polyether that contains cyclobutane-fused THF in each repeat unit. Upon mechanically induced cycloreversion of cyclobutane, each repeat unit generates three repeat units of PDHF. The resulting PDHF completely depolymerizes into 2,5-dihydrofuran in the presence of a ruthenium catalyst. The mechanochemical generation of the otherwise difficult-to-synthesize PDHF highlights the power of polymer mechanochemistry in accessing elusive structures. The concept of mechanochemically regulating theTcof polymers can be applied to develop next-generation sustainable plastics.

  3. Magnetic multilayer devices that exploit magnetoresistance are the backbone of magnetic sensing and data storage technologies. Here, we report multiple-spin-filter magnetic tunnel junctions (sf-MTJs) based on van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures in which atomically thin chromium triiodide (CrI 3 ) acts as a spin-filter tunnel barrier sandwiched between graphene contacts. We demonstrate tunneling magnetoresistance that is drastically enhanced with increasing CrI 3 layer thickness, reaching a record 19,000% for magnetic multilayer structures using four-layer sf-MTJs at low temperatures. Using magnetic circular dichroism measurements, we attribute these effects to the intrinsic layer-by-layer antiferromagnetic ordering of the atomically thin CrI 3 . Our work reveals the possibility to push magnetic information storage to the atomically thin limit and highlights CrI 3 as a superlative magnetic tunnel barrier for vdW heterostructure spintronic devices.