Stretchable dual cross-linked silicon elastomer with a superhydrophobic surface and fast triple self-healing ability at room temperature†
Stretchable elastomers with superhydrophobic surfaces have potential applications in wearable electronics. However, various types of damage inevitably occur on these elastomers in actual application, resulting in the deterioration of the superhydrophobic properties. In this work, superhydrophobic elastomers (HB-imine-BZn-PDMS), was fabricated by employing a dual-layered structure. The bottom layer was a silicon elastomer (imine-BZn-PDMS) with an imine/coordination dual cross-linked structure and room temperature self-healing efficiency of 94%. The top layer was imine-BZn-PDMS/silica nanocomposites to provide superhydrophobic properties. The HB-imine-BZn-PDMS elastomer exhibited fast triple self-healing ability at room temperature toward surface oxidation/decomposition, ruptures, or pinholes, and high durability under abrasion and stretching. The dual dynamic bonds of imine-BZn-PDMS enabled fast recovery of superhydrophobicity in 20 min at room temperature via bond exchange, after generating pinholes across the elastomer. Following surface chemical damage, the HB-imine-BZn-PDMS elastomer also exhibited fast (40 min) room-temperature self-healing ability, which is superior to that of most current self-healing superhydrophobic materials.