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You are here: Home / Seminars / Experimental physics and modelling / Viscoelasticity and Applications of Self-Healing Polymers

Viscoelasticity and Applications of Self-Healing Polymers

Laura E. Porath (SIMM Lab, ESPCI Paris)
When Sep 10, 2024
from 11:00 to 12:00
Where Salle des thèses
Contact Name
Attendees Laura E. Porath
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Tunable soft polymeric materials have applications from soft robotics, adhesives, 3D printing, and reusable plastics. The first part of the talk will focus on dynamic polymer networks (specifically vitrimers) which are exciting for their recyclability and can be used in vibration damping applications. By designing the polymer architecture of PDMS or polyacrylate vitrimers, a method was determined to tune the viscoelastic behavior when both fast and slow crosslinkers were mixed into a network. When the fast and slow crosslinkers (four orders of magnitude difference in relaxation time) were mixed in an end-crosslinked polymer network, a single relaxation time was observed, but two modes of relaxation were identified when the polymer was statistically crosslinked and could “feel” both the fast and slow bond exchange along a single polymer chain.

Based on these PDMS vitrimers, we also invented and filed a patent for a novel ultra-thin polymer coating. The PDMS gel network can be applied to various surfaces (glass, metals, silicon) at heights of only 10 nanometers and still achieve self-healing from pinholes and cuts, prevent delamination of the coating, and promote dropwise condensation for multiple weeks. The PDMS coating is hydrophobic, transparent, and adaptable to rough or curved surfaces, making it ideal for multiple applications from the energy sector in covering solar panels or steam power plant machines to the commercial sector, such as for cars and as screen protectors. These two stories show how tunability in chemistry can lead to rheological design and broader applications for the field of soft polymer materials.