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Significant Performance Enhancement of Polymer Resins by Bioinspired Dynamic Bonding

  • Author(s): Seo, S
  • Lee, DW
  • Ahn, JS
  • Cunha, K
  • Filippidi, E
  • Ju, SW
  • Shin, E
  • Kim, B-S
  • Levine, ZA
  • Lins, RD
  • Israelachvili, JN
  • Waite, JH
  • Valentine, MT
  • Shea, JE
  • Ahn, BK
  • et al.
Abstract

Marine mussels use catechol-rich interfacial mussel foot proteins (mfps) as primers that attach to mineral surfaces via hydrogen, metal coordination, electrostatic, ionic, or hydrophobic bonds, creating a secondary surface that promotes bonding to the bulk mfps. Inspired by this biological adhesive primer, it is shown that a ≈1 nm thick catecholic single-molecule priming layer increases the adhesion strength of crosslinked polymethacrylate resin on mineral surfaces by up to an order of magnitude when compared with conventional primers such as noncatecholic silane- and phosphate-based grafts. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm that catechol groups anchor to a variety of mineral surfaces and shed light on the binding mode of each molecule. Here, a ≈50% toughness enhancement is achieved in a stiff load-bearing polymer network, demonstrating the utility of mussel-inspired bonding for processing a wide range of polymeric interfaces, including structural, load-bearing materials.

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