A Multiresponsive, Shape-Persistent, and Elastic Supramolecular Polymer Network Gel Constructed by Orthogonal Self-Assembly



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A cross-linked supramolecular polymer network gel is designed and prepared, which shows reversible gel–sol transitions induced by changes in pH, temperature, cation concentration, and metal co-ordination. The gel pore size is controlled by the amount of cross-linker added to the system, and the material can be molded into shape-persistent, free-standing objects with elastic behavior. These features are all due to the dynamically reversible host–guest complexation and good mechanical properties of the cross-linked polymer network. No single organogel has previously been reported to possess all of these features, making this supramolecular gel an unprecedentedly intelligent soft material.