Success in developing self-healable polyisoprenes

September 26, 2022

For developing practical materials self-healable in various environments

The RIKEN CSRS created functional polymers with excellent self-healability by precise regulation of polyisoprene microstructure using rare-earth catalysts.

The research group created functional polymers which exhibit excellent self-healabilityby precisely controlling the ratio of 3,4- and cis-1,4-microstructures of polyisoprenes at 7:3 using a scandium (Sc) catalyst they developed. The new polymers have remarkable elastomer properties, with an elongation percentage about 20-fold and a breaking strength about 2 megapascal (MPa, 1 MPa = 1 million Pa). The polymers exhibit self-healability not only in the atmosphere but also in water and acid and alkaline aqueous solutions without the need for any stimulation or energy. The hydrogenated polyisoprene polymer (hydrogen is added to double bonds in polyisoprene) has self-healability equal to or more than non-hydrogenated polyisoprene polymer.

The results of this research would contribute to developing highly-practical new functional materials with self-healability in various environments such as in the atmosphere, water, and acid and alkaline aqueous solutions.

Original article
Angewandte Chemie International Edition doi:10.1002/anie.202210023
H. Wang, Y. Yang, M. Nishiura, Y. Hong, Y. Nishiyama, Y. Higaki, Z. Hou,
"Making Polyisoprene Self-Healable through Microstructure Regulation by Rare-Earth Catalysts".
Zhaomin Hou; Group Director
Masayoshi Nishiura; Senior Research Scientist
Advanced Catalysis Research Group