(Partially) reversible gels

Partially reversible network structures have been discussed in recent years as model systems to improve the self-healing capacity of polymer materials, to raise the fracture toughness, or to optimize the energy dissipation in repeated loading and unloading cycles. Previous theoretical work essentially managed to cover only non-entangled networks with sticky groups located on chain ends only.


Within a current Ph.D. thesis, we wish to extend the range of theoretical models to entangled networks and to architectures different form reversible end-linking. We further want to explore the origin of the anomalous diffusion observed experimentally that was interpreted by some authors as evidence for collective relaxation phenomena in reversible gels. A further goal of our research is to provide design principles for the optimization of material properties concerning toughness, energy dissipation or the available degree of self-healing upon damage.