Self-Healing Polymers via Supramolecular Forces

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Abstract

As polymers and polymeric materials are “the” smart invention and technological driving force of the 20th century, the quest for self-healing or self-repairing polymers is strong. The concept of supramolecular self-healing materials relies on the use of noncovalent, transient bonds to generate networks, which are able to heal the damaged site, putting aspects of reversibility and dynamics of a network as crucial factors for the understanding and design of such self-healing materials. This Review describes recent examples and concepts of supramolecular polymers based on hydrogen bonding, π–π interactions, ionomers, and coordinative bonds, thus convincingly discussing the advantages and versatility of these supramolecular forces for the design and realization of self-healing polymers.

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