vub wapenschild

Plenty of papers

01.07.2020 - 30.06.2021

During the Corona lockdown our researchers were forced to work from home, providing them with ample time to treat their data, polish their skills and knowledge with literature reviews and online courses, webinars ... and to wrap up studies in the form of peer reviewed publications.

On June 30th, the work of PhD candidate Dorothee Ehrhardt entitled "Self-healing UV-curable polymer network with reversible Diels-Alder bonds for applications in ambient conditions" bacame available online The paper discusses the synthesis, UV-cure and advanced characterization of a reversible polymer network, based on irreversible UV-curable methacrylate bonds and thermally reversible Diels-Alder crosslinks. The potential for self-healing of the polymer network at ambient temperature, even in the fully vitrified state at 20 °C, is demonstrated, making this material suitable as e.g. encapsulant in photovoltaic modules for outside applications.

Two weeks later two more papers got accepted for publication:

Postdoctoral researcher Joost Brancart describes a methodology to study the thermal dissociation of anthracene dimers in the condensed state in his work entitled "Thermal dissociation of anthracene photodimers in the condensed state: kinetic evaluation and complex phase behaviour". The accepted manuscript is available through This mehtogology allows to assess the influence of crystallinity and the complex phase behaviour on the thermal dissociation kinetics of anthracene dimers in the absence of a solvent. Only small amounts of materials are necessary to understand the thermal dissociation behaviour in conditions that are more representative for incorporation into (photo)reversible polymer networks.

PhD candidate Kenneth Cerdan Gomez proposes a new solution to heal large damages in polymer networks in his work entitled "A Novel Approach for the Closure of Large Damage in Self-Healing Elastomers Using Magnetic Particles". The accepted manuscript is available through A reversible polymer network based on the thermoreversible Diels-Alder chemistry was loaded with magnetic Fe3O4 particles. Upon mild heating and the application of an external magnetic field, macroscopic damages could be closed and properties restored. The filler loading was optimized to obtain the best magnetic response and healing efficiency with a limited effect of the filler on the mechanical properties.

Other recently published work includes:

Terryn, S.; Roels, E.; Brancart, J.; Van Assche, G.; Vanderborght, B. Self-Healing and High Interfacial Strength in Multi-Material Soft Pneumatic Robots via Reversible Diels–Alder Bonds. Actuators 20209, 34.

Ellen Roels, Seppe Terryn, Joost Brancart, Robrecht Verhelle, Guy Van Assche, and Bram Vanderborght,.Additive Manufacturing for Self-Healing Soft Robotics, Soft Robotics 2020