Self-Healing Supramolecular Gels Developed at Zhejiang University

A research group at Zhejiang University headed by Prof. Huang Feihe recently developed a supramolecular gel with self-repair function, featuring large deformation and short recovery time. A relative paper was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Supramolecular gels are formed by colloidal particles tangling with non-covalent interactions. For the first time in the world, the research group headed by Prof. Huang developed two different kinds of supramolecular gels in simple process with excellent self-healing properties.

According to Dr. Zhang Mingming, the first author of the paper, the study used two different molecular cross-linking agents with pendent dibenzo[24]crown-8 units to develop two different kinds of supramolecular gels. Inside the gels there is a special axis-ring penetration structure which will be damaged with external stimulation. However, due to its stability, it will resume the penetration structure after a period of time. In experiments, these supramolecular gels will recover its elastic and viscous properties within one minute after being stretched to 100 times long. In 3 or 4 minutes, they will achieve complete self-repair.

Source: Zhejiang Univeristy News

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