Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 29, 2019

Novel robust ion-specific responsive photonic hydrogel elastomers

Author affiliations

Abstract

Embedded photonic crystal hydrogels and responsive photonic crystal microspheres that can change structural color as a result of external stimuli have shown great potential for various applications, but their practical applications have been greatly limited due to the poor mechanical properties of hydrogel materials and their sometimes unideal optical properties. Although some progress has been achieved, it is still a challenge to develop photonic crystal hydrogel materials with the desired mechanical properties and structural color. Inspired by the excellent mechanical properties of polyurethane, this article presents a novel smart composite material, which combines nonionic UV-curable polyurethane and cross-linked polystyrene-co-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PS-co-PNIPAM) microspheres for the first time. This photonic hydrogel demonstrates the desired optical properties and a narrow reflection peak half-width, while the tensile strength of the cured elastomers changes between 0.1 MPa and 0.43 MPa when the swelling ratio is changed; this multifunctional material can recover from deformation to its original size quickly. As proof-of-concept, SCN was selected as a target analyte. A hydrogel sensor enables the detection of SCN ions quantitatively and selectively in water through the ion-specific deswelling behavior of hydrogels (the Hofmeister series principle) and corresponding changes in the wavelength of the diffraction peak; the limit of detection is 5 μM. Our strategy is a straightforward way to design simple smart materials whose response and mechanical properties can be tuned through the judicious choice of the hydrophilic group type and content, extending the potential application of photonic hydrogels.

Graphical abstract: Novel robust ion-specific responsive photonic hydrogel elastomers

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
14 May 2019
Accepted
17 Jun 2019
First published
19 Jun 2019

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019,7, 8946-8953
Article type
Paper

Novel robust ion-specific responsive photonic hydrogel elastomers

W. Liu, L. Li, S. Liu, B. Liu, Z. Wu and J. Deng, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019, 7, 8946 DOI: 10.1039/C9TC02513H

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements