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Graphene-Assisted Fabrication of Poly(ε-caprolactone)-Based Nanocomposites with High Mechanical Properties and Self-Healable Functionality

Abstract

A high-performance and self-healable poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nanocomposites were fabricated using polydopamine-capped reduced graphene oxide (PDG) as a nanofiller with the aid of the fold-thermal compression (so-called “mechanical annealing”) cycles effect. To improve the dispersion and interfacial interactions between PDG nanosheets and PCL matrix, PCL chains were firstly grafted onto PDG nanosheets by ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone. Most notably, superior mechanical performances were successfully achieved by tailoring the periodic “mechanical annealing” process. The tensile strength of PCL nanocomposite reaches up to 41.6 MPa, and the yield strength is as high as 22.7 MPa after 10 cycles periodic of “mechanical annealing”, which is simultaneously 2.4 and 2.6 times higher than that of pure PCL. Moreover, the photothermal conversion nature of polydopamine have endowed the nanocomposite self-healable functionality. The temperature of nanocomposites can rapidly surpass the melting temperature of polymer upon exposure to near-infrared (NIR) light and thus allowed fast NIR light-induced self-healing and recovered mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. This finding thus points out a facile method to obtain and explore new graphene-based NIR light-induced self-healable nanocpomposites.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Mar 2018, accepted on 08 May 2018 and first published on 09 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NJ01278D
Citation: New J. Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Graphene-Assisted Fabrication of Poly(ε-caprolactone)-Based Nanocomposites with High Mechanical Properties and Self-Healable Functionality

    Y. Wang, T. Li, P. Ma, S. Zhang, M. Du, W. Dong, Y. Xie and M. Chen, New J. Chem., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8NJ01278D

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