Optically healable polymers

Gina L. Fiore, Stuart J. Rowan*, Christoph Weder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Polymers that can easily be repaired after being damaged are attractive as this characteristic can improve the reliability, functionality, and lifetime of many products. In the last decade, researchers have thus developed new approaches to create stimuli-responsive polymer systems, which have the ability to autonomously heal or can be repaired upon exposure to an external stimulus. This review summarizes the current knowledge of optically healable or photo-healable polymers. The use of light as a stimulus for healing offers several attractive features, including the ability to deliver the stimulus locally, which opens up the possibility of healing the material under load, as well as the ability to tailor the wavelength of light to selectively address a specific component of the material, e.g. only the damaged parts. So far, two main classes of optically healable polymers have been explored, which are structurally dynamic polymers and mechanically activated reactive systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7278-7288
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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