Stimuli-Responsive Reversible Two-Level Adhesion from a Structurally Dynamic Shape-Memory Polymer

Brian T. Michal, Emily J. Spencer, Stuart J. Rowan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


A shape-memory adhesive has been prepared that exhibits two levels of reversible adhesion. The adhesive is a semicrystalline cross-linked polymer that contains dynamic disulfide bonds. Melting of the crystalline regions via heat causes a drop in the modulus of the material facilitating wetting of the substrate as well as enhancing the surface contact area with the substrate, which result in the formation of an adhesive bond. Exposure to higher heat or UV light results in dynamic exchange of the disulfide bonds, which yields a further drop in the modulus/viscosity that improves surface wetting/contact and strengthens the adhesive bond. This improvement in adhesion is shown to apply over different substrates, contact forces, and deformation modes. Furthermore, the adhesive acts as a thermal shape-memory material and can be used to create joints that can reposition themselves upon application of heat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11041-11049
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 4
Externally publishedYes


  • adhesive
  • disulfides
  • dynamic network
  • reversible
  • shape memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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