Water-Enhanced and Remote Self-Healing Elastomers in Various Harsh Environments

Peng Zhao, Muqing Cao, Cheng Liu, Yiheng Dai, Yizheng Tan, Shaobo Ji, and Huaping Xu

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces.; 202214, 27413.

The development of underwater remote stimulus-responsive self-healing polymer materials for applications in inaccessible and urgent situations is very challenging because water can readily disturb traditional noncovalent bonds and absorb heat, UV light, IR light, and electromagnetic wave energy at the wave band of micrometers and millimeters. Herein, visible-light-responsive diselenide bonds are employed as the healing moieties to produce a water-enhanced and remote self-healing elastomer triggered by a blue laser, which possesses excellent underwater transmission capability. During healing, the strain at break reaches ∼200% in 5 min and its toughness almost fully recovers within 1 h, which is estimated to be the fastest reported to date for healing silicone elastomers with a healing efficiency above 90%. The remote underwater pipeline sealing is instantly accomplished with the diselenide-containing elastomers by a blue laser 3 m away, thereby providing a direction for future emergent healing applications.