Electroactive Self-Healing Shape Memory Polymer Composites Based on Diels–Alder Chemistry

Felipe Orozco Gutierrez, Mahsa Kaveh, Dian Santosa, Guilherme de Macedo Rooweder Lima, Diego Ribas Gomes, Yutao T. Pei, Rodrigo Araya Hermosilla, Ignacio Moreno-Villoslada, Francesco Picchioni, Ranjita Bose*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


Both shape memory and self-healing polymers have received significant attention from the materials science community. The former, for their application as actuators, self-deployable structures, and medical devices; and the latter, for extending the lifetime of polymeric products. Both effects can be stimulated by heat, which makes resistive heating a practical approach to trigger these effects. Here we show a conductive polyketone polymer and carbon nanotube composite with cross-links based on the thermo-reversible furan/maleimide Diels–Alder chemistry. This approach resulted in products with efficient electroactive shape memory effect, shape reprogrammability, and self-healing. They exhibit electroactive shape memory behavior with recovery ratios of about 0.9; requiring less than a minute for shape recovery; electroactive self-healing behavior able to repair microcracks and almost fully recover their mechanical properties; requiring a voltage in the order of tens of volts for both shape memory and self-healing effects. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of electroactive self-healing shape memory polymer composites that use covalent reversible Diels–Alder linkages, which yield robust solvent-resistant polymer networks without jeopardizing their reprocessability. These responsive polymers may be ideal for soft robotics and actuators. They are also a step toward sustainable materials by allowing an increased lifetime of use and reprocessability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6147-6156
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number12
Early online date16-Nov-2021
Publication statusPublished - 10-Dec-2021


  • Diels-Alder
  • electroactive polymer
  • polymer composites
  • self-healing polymers
  • shape memory

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