High-strength, healable, supramolecular polymer nanocomposites

Justin Fox, Jeong J. Wie, Barnaby W. Greenland, Stefano Burattini, Wayne Hayes, Howard M. Colquhoun, Michael E. MacKay, Stuart J. Rowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

204 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A supramolecular polymer blend, formed via π-π interactions between a π-electron rich pyrenyl end-capped oligomer and a chain-folding oligomer containing pairs of π-electron poor naphthalene-diimide (NDI) units, has been reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) to afford a healable nanocomposite material. Nanocomposites with varying weight percentage of CNCs (from 1.25 to 20.0 wt %) within the healable supramolecular polymeric matrix have been prepared via solvent casting followed by compression molding, and their mechanical properties and healing behavior have been evaluated. It is found that homogeneously dispersed films can be formed with CNCs at less than 10 wt %. Above 10 wt % CNC heterogeneous nanocomposites were obtained. All the nanocomposites formed could be rehealed upon exposure to elevated temperatures although, for the homogeneous films, it was found that the healing rate was reduced with increasing CNC content. The best combination of healing efficiency and mechanical properties was obtained with the 7.5 wt % CNC nanocomposite which exhibited a tensile modulus enhanced by as much as a factor of 20 over the matrix material alone and could be fully rehealed at 85 °C within 30 min. Thus it is demonstrated that supramolecular nanocomposites can afford greatly enhanced mechanical properties relative to the unreinforced polymer, while still allowing efficient thermal healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5362-5368
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume134
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 21
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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  • Cite this

    Fox, J., Wie, J. J., Greenland, B. W., Burattini, S., Hayes, W., Colquhoun, H. M., MacKay, M. E., & Rowan, S. J. (2012). High-strength, healable, supramolecular polymer nanocomposites. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134(11), 5362-5368. https://doi.org/10.1021/ja300050x