Orthogonal photochemistry-assisted printing of 3D tough and stretchable conductive hydrogels

Public Time: 2021-04-07 00:00:00
Journal: Nature Communications
doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21869-y
Author: Hongqiu Wei;Ming Lei;Ping Zhang;Jinsong Leng;Zijian Zheng;You Yu
Summary: 3D-printing tough conductive hydrogels (TCHs) with complex structures is still a challenging task in related fields due to their inherent contrasting multinetworks, uncontrollable and slow polymerization of conductive components. Here we report an orthogonal photochemistry-assisted printing (OPAP) strategy to make 3D TCHs in one-pot via the combination of rational visible-light-chemistry design and reliable extrusion printing technique. This orthogonal chemistry is rapid, controllable, and simultaneously achieve the photopolymerization of EDOT and phenol-coupling reaction, leading to the construction of tough hydrogels in a short time (tgel ~30 s). As-prepared TCHs are tough, conductive, stretchable, and anti-freezing. This template-free 3D printing can process TCHs to arbitrary structures during the fabrication process. To further demonstrate the merits of this simple OPAP strategy and TCHs, 3D-printed TCHs hydrogel arrays and helical lines, as proofs-of-concept, are made to assemble high-performance pressure sensors and a temperature-responsive actuator. It is anticipated that this one-pot rapid, controllable OPAP strategy opens new horizons to tough hydrogels.
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