Supramolecular gels are formed by colloidal particles tangling with non-covalent interactions. For the first time in the world, the research group headed by Prof. Huang developed two different kinds of supramolecular gels in simple process with excellent self-healing properties.
According to Dr. Zhang Mingming, the first author of the paper, the study used two different molecular cross-linking agents with pendent dibenzocrown-8 units to develop two different kinds of supramolecular gels. Inside the gels there is a special axis-ring penetration structure which will be damaged with external stimulation. However, due to its stability, it will resume the penetration structure after a period of time. In experiments, these supramolecular gels will recover its elastic and viscous properties within one minute after being stretched to 100 times long. In 3 or 4 minutes, they will achieve complete self-repair.
Source: Zhejiang Univeristy News