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 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2020.122762. 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 https://doi.org/10.1039/D0CP03165H. 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 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2020.122819. 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 2020, 9, 34. https://doi.org/10.3390/act9020034
Soft Robotics 2020 https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2019.0081