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Multivalency in healable supramolecular polymers: the effect of supramolecular cross-link density on the mechanical properties and healing of noncovalent polymer networks

Hart, L. R., Hunter, J. H., Nguyen, N. A., Harries, J. L., Greenland, B. W., Mackay, M. E., Colquhoun, H. M. and Hayes, W. (2014) Multivalency in healable supramolecular polymers: the effect of supramolecular cross-link density on the mechanical properties and healing of noncovalent polymer networks. Polymer Chemistry, 5 (11). pp. 3680-3688. ISSN 1759-9954

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00292J

Abstract/Summary

Polymers with the ability to heal themselves could provide access to materials with extended lifetimes in a wide range of applications such as surface coatings, automotive components and aerospace composites. Here we describe the synthesis and characterisation of two novel, stimuli-responsive, supramolecular polymer blends based on π-electron-rich pyrenyl residues and π-electron-deficient, chain-folding aromatic diimides that interact through complementary π–π stacking interactions. Different degrees of supramolecular “cross-linking” were achieved by use of divalent or trivalent poly(ethylene glycol)-based polymers featuring pyrenyl end-groups, blended with a known diimide–ether copolymer. The mechanical properties of the resulting polymer blends revealed that higher degrees of supramolecular “cross-link density” yield materials with enhanced mechanical properties, such as increased tensile modulus, modulus of toughness, elasticity and yield point. After a number of break/heal cycles, these materials were found to retain the characteristics of the pristine polymer blend, and this new approach thus offers a simple route to mechanically robust yet healable materials.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Medicinal Chemistry Research Group
ID Code:36673
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry

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