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Self-Healing Behaviors of Tough Polyampholyte Hydrogels

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journal contribution
posted on 23.05.2016, 17:23 by Abu Bin Ihsan, Tao Lin Sun, Takayuki Kurokawa, Sadia Nazneen Karobi, Tasuku Nakajima, Takayuki Nonoyama, Chanchal Kumar Roy, Feng Luo, Jian Ping Gong
Recently, polyampolytes have been discovered to form hydrogels that possess high toughness, full resilience, and self-healing between two cut surfaces. The self-healing of this class of hydrogels is based on the re-forming of the multiple ionic bonds at the fractured surfaces, in which the mobility of the polymer segments and strength of the ionic bonds play an important role. In this work, we study the effects of healing temperature and chemistry of the polyampholyte hydrogels (chemical cross-linker density and chemical structure of the monomers) on the healing kinetics and healing efficiency. The high healing temperature substantially accelerates the self-healing kinetics. Chemical cross-linking reduces the self-healing efficiency. Monomers with more hydrophobic feature give a low self-healing efficiency. For polyampholyte physical hydrogels with a softening temperature below the room temperature, excellent healing efficiency (∼84% on average and maximum 99%) was observed without any external stimuli. We found a correlation between the self-healing efficiency and the fraction of dynamic bonds in the total bonds for relatively soft samples, which is an evidence that the self-healing is due to the re-forming of dynamic bonds.

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