Hard Autonomous Self-Healing Supramolecular Materials—A Contradiction in Terms?


  • I thank the IWT (SIM-NAPROM project), Ghent University (BOF-ZAP position and concerted research actions project no. BOF11/GOA/023), and the European Union (MC-CIG project AdaptPoly) for financial support.


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Achieving the unachievable: Hard supramolecular materials displaying autonomous self-healing have been considered unachievable because of the mobility required to reconstitute supramolecular interactions after rupture. Now, relatively hard thermoplastic elastomers have been reported that meet these requirements. The picture shows a triblock copolymer containing soft supramolecular “self-healing” domains and hard, structure-giving domains.