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Sci Adv. 2017 Jun 21;3(6):e1700053. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700053. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Instant tough bonding of hydrogels for soft machines and electronics.

Author information

1
Department of Soft Matter Physics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Altenbergerstrasse 69, 4040 Linz, Austria.
2
Institute of Polymer Science, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4040 Linz, Austria.
3
Linz Institute of Technology, Soft Electronics Laboratory, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4040 Linz, Austria.

Abstract

Introducing methods for instant tough bonding between hydrogels and antagonistic materials-from soft to hard-allows us to demonstrate elastic yet tough biomimetic devices and machines with a high level of complexity. Tough hydrogels strongly attach, within seconds, to plastics, elastomers, leather, bone, and metals, reaching unprecedented interfacial toughness exceeding 2000 J/m2. Healing of severed ionic hydrogel conductors becomes feasible and restores function instantly. Soft, transparent multilayered hybrids of elastomers and ionic hydrogels endure biaxial strain with more than 2000% increase in area, facilitating soft transducers, generators, and adaptive lenses. We demonstrate soft electronic devices, from stretchable batteries, self-powered compliant circuits, and autonomous electronic skin for triggered drug delivery. Our approach is applicable in rapid prototyping and in delicate environments inaccessible for extended curing and cross-linking.

KEYWORDS:

Adaptive Optics; Electronic Skins; Soft Batteries; Soft Electronics; Soft Robots; energy harvesting; hydrogels; stretchable electronics

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