Vitrimers represent a new class of smart materials. They are covalently crosslinked like thermosets, yet they can be reprocessed like thermoplastics. The underlying mechanism is the rapid exchange reactions which form new bonds while breaking the old ones. So far, heating is the most widely used stimulus to activate the exchange reaction. Compared to heating, light not only is much more convenient to achieve remote and regional control, but can also offer fast healing. Gold nanospheres are excellent photothermal agents, but they are difficult to disperse into vitrimers as they easily aggregate. In this paper, we use polydopamine to prepare gold nanospheres. The resultant polydopamine-coated gold nanospheres (GNS) can be well dispersed into epoxy vitrimers, endowing epoxy vitrimers with light responsivity. The composites can be reshaped permanently and temporarily with light at different intensity. Efficient surface patterning and healing are also demonstrated.
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