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Bioinspired Interfacial Chelating-like Reinforcement Strategy toward Mechanically Enhanced Lamellar Materials

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posted on 26.04.2018, 00:00 by Ke Chen, Shuhao Zhang, Anran Li, Xuke Tang, Lidong Li, Lin Guo
Many biological organisms usually derived from the ordered assembly of heterogeneous, hierarchical inorganic/organic constituents exhibit outstanding mechanical integration, but have proven to be difficult to produce the combination of excellent mechanical properties, such as strength, toughness, and light weight, by merely mimicking their component and structural characteristics. Herein, inspired by biologically strong chelating interactions of phytic acid (PA) or IP6 in many biomaterials, we present a biologically interfacial chelating-like reinforcement (BICR) strategy for fabrication of a highly dense ordered “brick-and-mortar” microstructure by incorporating tiny amounts of a natural chelating agent (e.g., PA) into the interface or the interlamination of a material (e.g., graphene oxide (GO)), which shows joint improvement in hardness (∼41.0%), strength (∼124.1%), maximum Young’s modulus (∼134.7%), and toughness (∼118.5%) in the natural environment. Besides, for different composite matrix systems and artificial chelating agents, the BICR strategy has been proven successful for greatly enhancing their mechanical properties, which is superior to many previous reinforcing approaches. This point can be mainly attributed to the stronger noncovalent cross-linking interactions such as dense hydrogen bonds between the richer phosphate (hydroxyl) groups on its cyclohexanehexol ring and active sites of GO, giving rise to the larger energy dissipation at its hybrid interfaces. It is also simple and environmentally friendly for further scale-up fabrication and can be readily extended to other material systems, which opens an advanced reinforcement route to construct structural materials with high mechanical performance in an efficient way for practical applications.

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