Researchers from Kyushu University and RIKEN developed a type of material with the self-healing and shape memory properties. This new ethylene-based material has properties of self-healing in the water or acidic and alkali solutions.
The self-healing material has gained popularity from a decade for manufacturing a variety of materials. However, the chemical mechanism along with designs and structure of polymer networks impact the properties of the material. The structure of the polymer, covalent bond formation, metal-ligand networks, and ionic interactions impact the self-healing properties of a material.
In some cases, the material cannot be functional in presence of solutions, as the network cannot survive. Thus, the material must have some external pressure or heat as a stimulant for promoting the healing process.
This can shape an idea of creating tough and self-healing materials, which can work under many conditions.
The research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society meets this idea.
Details of material:
The researchers used a scandium-based catalyst for the creation of polymers. These polymers include alternate sequences of anisylpropylenes and ethylene with shorter ethylene-ethylene sections due to copolymerization. This process of copolymerization involves anisylpropylenes and ethylene.
With the copolymerization process, the researchers manufactured well-defined polyolefins from a soft viscoelastic material. The properties of this material are can vary from soft to tough which controls the stretching of material. This elastomer material is elastic, tough, and have self-healing properties. It has the remarkable property of self-healing in dry as well as in the aqueous solutions. Additionally, this material does not ask for any external energy.
The team leader of the study, Zhaomin Hou said that they are further exploring the applications in different films.