Bioinspired design of strong, tough, and thermally stable polymeric materials via nanoconfinement

Song, Pingan and Dai, Jinfeng and Chen, Guorong and Yu, Youming and Fang, Zhengping and Lei, Weiwei and Fu, Shenyuan and Wang, Hao and Chen, Zhi-Gang (2018) Bioinspired design of strong, tough, and thermally stable polymeric materials via nanoconfinement. ACS Nano, 12 (9). pp. 9266-9278. ISSN 1936-0851


The combination of high strength, great toughness, and high heat resistance for polymeric materials is a vital factor for their practical applications. Unfortunately, until now it has remained a major challenge to achieve this performance portfolio because the mechanisms of strength and toughness are mutually exclusive. In the natural world, spider silk features the combination of high strength, great toughness, and excellent thermal stability, which are governed by the nanoconfinement of hydrogen-bonded β-sheets. Here, we report a facile bioinspired methodology for fabricating advanced polymer composite films with a high tensile strength of 152.8 MPa, a high stiffness of 4.35 GPa, and a tensile toughness of 30.3 MJ/m3 in addition to high thermal stability (69 °C higher than that of the polymer matrix) only by adding 2.0 wt % of artificial β-sheets. The mechanical and thermostable performance portfolio is superior to that of its counterparts developed to date because of the nanoconfinement and hydrogen-bond cross-linking effects of artificial β-sheets. Our study offers a facile biomimetic strategy for the design of integrated mechanically robust and thermostable polymer materials, which hold promise for many applications in electrical devices and tissue engineering fields.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2019 05:15
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 04:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioinspired design; mechanical performance; nanoconfinement; poly(vinyl alcohol); thermal stability
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091299 Materials Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 86 Manufacturing > 8699 Other Manufacturing > 869999 Manufacturing not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.8b04002

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