Our research in self-healing polymers is focused on two strategies. In the first, we are learning where, what kind of, and how many specific, reversible interactions to place within various material architectures so that these interactions are the first line of defense to a damage event. The idea is that these bonds sacrifice themselves to preserve the underlying material architecture, but then reform once the damaging event is over.
A second strategy involves the mechanical activation of new bond-forming reactions within various polymer composite architectures. This line of research is intertwined with our interest in mechanochemistry.