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A Robust Damage-Reporting Strategy for Polymeric Materials Enabled by Aggregation-Induced Emission

Microscopic damage inevitably leads to failure in polymers and composite materials, but it is difficult to detect without the aid of specialized equipment.

The ability to enhance the detection of small-scale damage prior to catastrophic material failure is important for improving the safety and reliability of critical engineering components, while simultaneously reducing life cycle costs associated with regular maintenance and inspection.

Here, we demonstrate a simple, robust, and sensitive fluorescence-based approach for autonomous detection of damage in polymeric materials and composites enabled by aggregation-induced emission (AIE). This simple, yet powerful system relies on a single active component, and the general mechanism delivers outstanding performance in a wide variety of materials with diverse chemical and mechanical properties.

Maxwell J. Robb1,2,  Wenle Li1,3, Ryan C. R. Gergely1,4, Christopher C. Matthews1,4, Scott R. White1,5, Nancy R. Sottos1,3, and Jeffrey S. Moore1,2

1The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 2Department of Chemistry,3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, 4Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, and 5Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.

 

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