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Issue 3, 2019
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Self-healable gradient copolymers

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Self-healing materials typically suffer from poor mechanical performance in terms of practical applications. Herein, a self-healable copolymer with a gradient distribution of hard segments on ionic polymer chains is designed. By the optimization of the monomer sequences and physical cross-linking, the copolymer exhibits excellent mechanical properties with Young's modulus up to 286 MPa and toughness over 33 MJ m−3, which represents a significant improvement compared with traditional self-healing materials. Imidazolium in this copolymer not only generates strong dynamic ionic associations and imparts mending ability, but also provides ionic conductivity for potential device applications. Environment-insensitive self-healing in the presence of moisture, water and artificial sweat is achieved. Strain sensors with rapid response (<114 ms) and high durability (no performance decrease after 7000 cycles of tensile test) are fabricated using the gradient copolymers, opening an avenue for high-performance wearable devices using polymeric materials.

Graphical abstract: Self-healable gradient copolymers

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The article was received on 19 Nov 2018, accepted on 11 Jan 2019 and first published on 15 Jan 2019

Article type: Research Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8QM00592C
Mater. Chem. Front., 2019,3, 464-471

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    Self-healable gradient copolymers

    J. Cui, Z. Ma, L. Pan, C. An, J. Liu, Y. Zhou and Y. Li, Mater. Chem. Front., 2019, 3, 464
    DOI: 10.1039/C8QM00592C

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