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Supramolecular multicompartment gels formed by ABC graft copolymers: high toughness and recovery properties

Abstract

We conceptually design multicompartment gels with supramolecular characteristics by taking advantage of amphiphilic ABC graft copolymers. The ABC graft copolymers contain a solvophilic A backbone and solvophobic B and C grafts, where the C grafts interact with each other via hydrogen bonds. The mechanical properties of supramolecular multicompartment gels under uniaxial tension are studied by coupling dissipative particle dynamics simulations with nonequilibrium deformation technique. The results show that the supramolecular multicompartment gels exhibit high toughness and recovery properties, while their stiffness is maintained. From the physical origin, the superiorly mechanical properties of supramolecular gels have tight relation with the structural relaxation of grafts and the association-disassociation dynamics of hydrogen bonds. In addition, the toughness of multicompartment gels can be further tuned by adjusting the strength and directivity of hydrogen bonds. The present work unveils the physical origin of distinct mechanical properties of supramolecular gels, which may provide useful guidance for designing functional gels with superior toughness.

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Mar 2018, accepted on 08 May 2018 and first published on 08 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CP02062K
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Supramolecular multicompartment gels formed by ABC graft copolymers: high toughness and recovery properties

    P. Xu, J. Lin and L. Zhang, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8CP02062K

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