Our paper titled "Supramolecular thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomer materials with self-healing ability based on oligomeric charged triblock", by Lenny Voorhaar, Maria Mercedes Diaz, Frederic Leroux, Sarah Rogers, Artem M Abakumov, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, Guy Van Assche, Bruno Van Mele and Richard Hoogenboom, got published by NPG Asia Materials.
Citation: NPG Asia Materials (2017) 9, e385; doi:10.1038/am.2017.63
Supramolecular polymeric materials constitute a unique class of materials held together by non-covalent interactions. These dynamic supramolecular interactions can provide unique properties such as a strong decrease in viscosity upon relatively mild heating, as well as self-healing ability. In this study we demonstrate the unique mechanical properties of phase-separated electrostatic supramolecular materials based on mixing of low molar mass, oligomeric, ABA-triblock copolyacrylates with oppositely charged outer blocks. In case of well-chosen mixtures and block lengths, the charged blocks are phase separated from the uncharged matrix in a hexagonally packed nanomorphology as observed by transmission electron microscopy. Thermal and mechanical analysis of the material shows that the charged sections have a Tg closely beyond room temperature, whereas the material shows an elastic response at temperatures far above this Tgascribed to the electrostatic supramolecular interactions. A broad set of materials having systematic variations in triblock copolymer structures was used to provide insights in the mechanical properties and and self-healing ability in correlation with the nanomorphology of the materials.
This research was supported by the Strategic Initiative for Materials (SIM-Flanders) through the SIBO-Project Novel Active PRotection systems on Metals (NAPROM) of the Self-Healing Engineered Materials (SHE) Program.