Sporopollenin, a Natural Copolymer, is Robust under High Hydrostatic Pressure

Wren Montgomery, Christian Potiszil, Jonathan S. Watson, Mark A. Sephton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Lycopodium sporopollenin, a natural copolymer, shows exceptional stability under high hydrostatic pressures (10 GPa) as determined by in situ high pressure synchrotron source Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. This stability is evaluated in terms of the component compounds of the sporopollenin: p-coumaric acid, phloretic acid, ferulic acid, and palmitic and sebacic acids, which represent the additional n-acid and n-diacid components. This high stability is attributed to interactions between these components, rather than the exceptional stability of any one molecular component. This study proposes a biomimetic solution for the creation of polymer materials that can withstand high pressures for a multitude of uses in aeronautics, vascular autografts, ballistics, and light-weight protective materials. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2494-2500
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • FT-IR
  • biomimicry
  • copolymerization
  • high pressure
  • hydrogen bonding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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