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Dr. Zhijiang (Justin) Ye and team publish research paper

Recently, assistant professor in MME, Dr. Zhijiang (Justin) Ye, and his team published an academic paper titled Accelerating dynamic exchange and self-healing using mechanical forces in crosslinked polymers. Dr. Ye’s team consisted of undergraduate and graduate students and other faculty, including Dr. Dominik Konkolewicz, from Miami’s chemistry department.Dr. Ye's headshot

This work illustrates a fundamental understanding of how mechanical stress affects the self-healing properties of polymers, and the potential for dynamic chemistry to be activated by mechanical forces.

So, what does that mean?

As far as real-world applications are concerned, the team’s research has great potential. With an impact factor of 14.356, the work they have done has the ability to change the way we go about fixing common, everyday problems.

The interdisciplinary research has been utilized to investigate how mechanical force can actually help the chemistry of certain materials. The team found that while force typically damages materials, some force can actually help to activate the chemistry in the materials, as well as enhance the properties of them later on.

This means the next time you have a flat tire, a rip in an inflatable raft or even scratched paint, you could save time, money and resources, as it could potentially fix itself.

What’s next?

In order to actually apply this research, Dr. Ye and the rest of the team are continuing to work and investigate how different properties, like thermal and electrical, impact the materials. Eventually, they hope to apply the studies to electronics, as well.

By Jenna Calderón, CEC Reporter