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Issue 11, 2014
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Multivalency in healable supramolecular polymers: the effect of supramolecular cross-link density on the mechanical properties and healing of non-covalent polymer networks

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Abstract

Polymers with the ability to heal themselves could provide access to materials with extended lifetimes in a wide range of applications such as surface coatings, automotive components and aerospace composites. Here we describe the synthesis and characterisation of two novel, stimuli-responsive, supramolecular polymer blends based on π-electron-rich pyrenyl residues and π-electron-deficient, chain-folding aromatic diimides that interact through complementary π–π stacking interactions. Different degrees of supramolecular “cross-linking” were achieved by use of divalent or trivalent poly(ethylene glycol)-based polymers featuring pyrenyl end-groups, blended with a known diimide–ether copolymer. The mechanical properties of the resulting polymer blends revealed that higher degrees of supramolecular “cross-link density” yield materials with enhanced mechanical properties, such as increased tensile modulus, modulus of toughness, elasticity and yield point. After a number of break/heal cycles, these materials were found to retain the characteristics of the pristine polymer blend, and this new approach thus offers a simple route to mechanically robust yet healable materials.

Graphical abstract: Multivalency in healable supramolecular polymers: the effect of supramolecular cross-link density on the mechanical properties and healing of non-covalent polymer networks

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Feb 2014, accepted on 12 Mar 2014 and first published on 13 Mar 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00292J
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2014,5, 3680-3688
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Multivalency in healable supramolecular polymers: the effect of supramolecular cross-link density on the mechanical properties and healing of non-covalent polymer networks

    L. R. Hart, J. H. Hunter, N. A. Nguyen, J. L. Harries, B. W. Greenland, M. E. Mackay, H. M. Colquhoun and W. Hayes, Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 3680
    DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00292J

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