The concept of self-healing stems from the self-healing phenomenon in biology. There is a self-healing process in organisms from the molecular level (such as DNA repair) to the macroscopic level (such as the healing of small skin wounds). Inspired by nature, many self-healing polymer materials have been designed and synthesized. They can detect cracks autonomously and self-heal the cracks through a certain mechanism, which can effectively extend the service life of materials, improve material safety, and reduce waste. Such materials have important scientific significance and application value.
At present, it is challenging to balance between mechanical properties and self-healing properties. In many cases, materials with good mechanical properties cannot be self-healed, and the mechanical properties of self-healing materials are generally not good enough. The reason is that the mechanical properties and self-healing properties of materials are in some sense contradictory to each other. On the other hand, the current research on self-healing materials mainly focuses on the crack-healing of materials. In order for self-healing materials to be applied, self-healing materials must be combined with functional materials with photoelectric thermo-magnetic properties to obtain various of useful self-healing material. Our research focuses on mechanically robust self-healing polymers and functional self-healing polymers.
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