Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Solvent-assisted programming of flat polymer sheets into reconfigurable and self-healing 3D structures


It is extremely challenging, yet critically desirable to convert 2D plastic films into 3D structures without any assisting equipment. Taking the advantage of solvent-induced bond-exchange reaction and elastic-plastic transition, shape programming of flat vitrimer polymer sheets offers a new way to obtain 3D structures or topologies, which are hard for traditional molding to achieve. Here we show that such programming can be achieved with a pipette, a hair dryer, and a bottle of solvent. The polymer used here is very similar to the commercial epoxy, except that a small percentage of a specific catalyst is involved to facilitate the bond-exchange reaction. The programmed 3D structures can later be erased, reprogrammed, welded with others, and healed again and again, using the same solvent-assisted technique. The 3D structures can also be recycled by hot-pressing into new sheets, which can still be repeatedly programmed.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View