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Balaji Iyer


Self-Healing Networks of Star-shaped Nanogel Particles

Development of novel materials often involves formation of network structures that can adapt to changing environment by their combined ability to sense damage and self-repair. Design of such strong and tough self-healing networks requires control of self-healing through either tailoring the nature of the cross-links or the structure of the individual nanogel particles that form the network. We use modeling and simulations to uncover how the structure of the individual nanogel particles affects self-healing in networks of star-shaped nanogel particles.

In particular, we show that the stretchable corona arms enable nanogel rearrangements that result in distinct necking phenomena. In the course of necking, rearrangements of the nanogel particles lead to formation of labile bonds in the direction normal to that of stretching and consequently enhance self-healing.

Fig. 1. Snapshots of the nanogel network (a) Initial configuration at H=1.5. (b) Configuration at break (H=1.5.) (c) Initial configuration at H=2. (d) Configuration at breaking strain (H=2.). Arrows indicate ordering of gel cores in the direction normal to the axis of extension.

Updated: Aug, 2011

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