Highly stretchable polymer conductors based on as-prepared PEDOT:PSA/n-PAA hydrogels†
Conducting polymers with inherently good flexibility and conductivity are good candidates for stretchable conductor applications, such as wearable electronics and healthcare devices. In this article, the crosslinked PAA (polyacrylic acid, n-PAA) hydrogels were fabricated via the reaction between hydrophilic groups of polymers in the presence of the water-based silicone crosslinking agent. By using the PEDOT:PSA (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate-co-acrylic acid) as a conducting component, the conductive hydrogels prepared by this method are highly conductive with a value of 2.00 S cm−1, highly stretchable with 800% strain and exceedingly stable in ambient air for a long time; also they possess superior properties to similar crosslinking methods. The resistance change with stretching is almost strain-insensitive up to 50% strain after 1000 fatigue cycles.