Self-healing nanocomposites via N-doped GO promoted “click chemistry”
N-doped graphene stabilized Cu(I)-catalyzed self-healing nanocomposites are developed. The study found the use of N-doped graphene as both the nanostructured material for enhancing mechanical and conductive properties as well as catalyst promoter (scaffold for catalytic copper (I) particles), helpful to trigger self-healing via “click chemistry”. Due to an increase in electron density on the nitrogen atom doping, including the coordination of N-doped rGO with Cu+ ions, nitrogen-doped graphene-supported copper particles demonstrate a higher reaction yield at room temperature without adding any external ligand/base. In this study, only one component (an azide moiety containing healing agent) was encapsulated, whereas another component (the alkyne moiety containing healing agent) was as such (without encapsulation) homogeneously dispersed in the matrix. Triggered capsule rupture then induces contact of the healing agents with the N-doped graphene-based catalyst and the alkyne molecules dispersed in the matrix, inducing "click"-reaction, allowing to repair onsite damage as determined by mechanical measurements entirely. Tensile measurements were also performed in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to support the findings. Given the enormous importance of autonomic repair of materials damage, this concept here reports a trustworthy and reliable chemical system with a high level of robustness.