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Nanostructured electrically conductive hydrogels via ultrafast laser processing and self-assembly


Electrically conductive polymers have emerged as functional materials for future electronics due to their high electrical conductivity, real-time responsiveness, easy film-formation ability and desirable stretchability. However, the previously-developed conductive polymer electronics were still limited in macroscopic hydrogels or films without complicated designs of fine features. Herein, carbon nanotube-doped hydrophilic photoresist was ultrafast laser processed as an absorbent 3D scaffold to fabricate nanostructured electrically conductive hydrogels (NECHs) for the first time. Taking advantage of intermolecular forces, we in-situ interpenetrated π-conjugated poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) into NECHs by self-assembly to combine fine feature (resolution down to 500 nm, at least two-order accuracy improvement than standard 3D-printing electronics), high electrical conductivity (0.1 - 42.5 S/m), device-level mechanical properties and desirable tolerance to humid/acid environments. Consequently, several reliable, nanostructured, metal-free electrical circuits, alcohol micro-sensor, interdigital capacitor, and loop inductors were experimentally identified and characterized. NECHs successfully breaks current limitations by making better use of two photon hydrogelation and highly-conductive polymer. Optical clarity, conductivity, and extensibility of NECHs promises micro energy storage devices, epidermal electronics, nanorobotics and electrical circuit boards for challenging conditions.

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Feb 2019, accepted on 12 Apr 2019 and first published on 15 Apr 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR01230C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Nanostructured electrically conductive hydrogels via ultrafast laser processing and self-assembly

    Y. Tao, C. Wei, J. Liu, C. Deng, S. Cai and W. Xiong, Nanoscale, 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9NR01230C

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