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Ultrastretchable, Tough, Antifreezing, and Conductive Cellulose Hydrogel for Wearable Strain Sensor

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journal contribution
posted on 13.11.2020, 15:05 by Daijun Chen, Xiaoli Zhao, Xinran Wei, Jialin Zhang, Dan Wang, Hao Lu, Pengxiang Jia
Conductive hydrogels have shown great potential in the field of flexible strain sensors. However, their application is greatly limited due to the low conductivity and poor mechanical properties at subzero temperatures. Herein, an ultrastretchable, tough, antifreezing, and conductive cellulose hydrogel was fabricated by grafting acrylonitrile and acrylamide copolymers onto the cellulose chains in the presence of zinc chloride using ceric ammonium nitrate as the initiator. The resulting hydrogel exhibited ultrastretchability (1730%), excellent tensile strength (160 kPa), high elasticity (90%), good toughness (1074.7 kJ/m3), and fatigue resistance property due to the existence of dipole–dipole and multiple hydrogen-bonding interactions on the hydrogel network. In addition, the introduced zinc chloride endowed the cellulose-based hydrogel with remarkable electric conductivity (1.54 S/m) and excellent antifreezing performance (−33 °C). Finally, the hydrogel showed high sensitivity and stability to monitor human activities. In summary, this work presented a facile strategy to construct conductive hydrogel with excellent antifreezing and mechanical properties simultaneously, which showed great potential for wearable strain sensors.