Introduction of self-healing properties into covalent polymer networks via the photodissociation of alkoxyamine junctions
Poly(n-butyl acrylate) networks were prepared by conducting click chemistry between dialkyne alkoxyamines and azide functionalized star-like oligomers synthesized by ATRP. The dissociation of alkoxyamines under UV irradiation was exploited to cleave the junctions between the network of star-like precursors. The efficiency of the cleavage, generating dangling nitroxides and increased mobility of poly(n-butyl acrylate) segments, was examined by ESR monitoring. The network progressively reformed after irradiation via the recombination of radical species. These reactions resulted in self-healing behavior, which was observed by AFM.