A new type of smart borinic acid polymer with luminescence and multiple stimuli-responsive properties is reported. In DMSO with small amounts of water, the homopolymer PBA shows a tunable upper critical solution temperature (UCST). As the amount of water increases from 0 to 2.5% (v/v), the UCST rises linearly from 20C to 100C (boiling point of water). Thus, the thermal responsive behavior can be tuned over a wide temperature range. Furthermore, polymer solutions in DMSO show a reversible response to fluoride ions, which can be correlated to the presence of the Lewis acidic borinic acid groups. Upon addition of fluoride, the polymer becomes soluble because the functional R2BOH groups are converted into ionic [R2BF2]- groups, but turns insoluble again upon addition of H2O, which reverses this process.
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