Suit the Hydrogel with Armor: Strong and Super Tough Biomass Reinforced Hydrogel with Excellent Conductivity and Anti-bacterial Performance
Fabrication of high strength hydrogel with both great conductivity and anti-bacterial performance for soft electronic applications remains a huge challenge. Herein, inspired by the hard-shelled pangolins, a facile strategy was developed for the preparation of multifunctional hydrogel with super toughness using biomass sodium lignosulfonate (LS) and biodegradable poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as raw materials. The nanophase separation structure was constructed in the hydrogel matrix. The hydrogel surface was embedded with dense clusters of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs), which served as a protective armor for the internal soft hydrogel structure. The bionic structure with hard outer shell and soft inner body endowed the hydrogel Ag0@LS-1 with particularly large toughness of 50.7 MJ/m3, powerful tensile strength of 8.49 MPa and large breaking strain of 1285%. It also exhibited high conductivity of 7.1 S/m and showed excellent sensitivity to stretching, compression, bending, twist, handwriting and even temperature. The hydrogel Ag0@LS-1 fabricated in this work represented the best combination of tensile strength, extensibility, toughness, antibacterial property and a wide spectrum of sensory properties. This work presents an innovative design approach for preparing multifunctional hydrogel for sophisticated intelligent applications using cheap, green and easily available biomass and biodegradable raw materials.