Inorganic Nanotube Mesophases Enable Strong Self-Healing Fibers

Won Jun Lee, Erwan Paineau, David Anthony, Yulin Gao, Hannah Leese, Stephan Rouziere, Pascale Launois, Milo Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)


The assembly of one-dimensional nanomaterials into macroscopic fibers can improve mechanical as well as multifunctional performance. Double-walled aluminogermanate imogolite nanotubes are geo-inspired analogues of carbon nanotubes, synthesized at low temperature, with complementary properties. Here, continuous imogolite-based fibers are wet-spun within a poly(vinyl alcohol) matrix. The lyotropic liquid crystallinity of the system produces highly aligned fibers with tensile stiffness and strength up to 24.1 GPa (14.1 N tex–1) and 0.8 GPa (0.46 N tex–1), respectively. Significant enhancements over the pure polymer control are quantitatively attributed to both matrix refinement and direct nanoscale reinforcement, by fitting an analytical model. Most intriguingly, imogolite-based fibers show a high degree of healability via evaporation-induced self-assembly, recovering up to 44% and 19% of the original fiber tensile stiffness and strength, respectively. This recovery at high absolute strength highlights a general strategy for the development of high-performance healable fibers relevant to composite structures and other applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5570-5580
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
Early online date21 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Inorganic Nanotube Mesophases Enable Strong Self-Healing Fibers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this