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Polypyrrole-Doped Conductive Self-Healing Composite Hydrogels with High Toughness and Stretchability

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posted on 18.02.2021, 03:29 authored by Lingling Zhao, Xin Li, Yan Li, Xuemiao Wang, Wu Yang, Jie Ren
In recent years, hydrogels with self-healing capability and conductivity have become ideal materials for the design of electrodes, soft robotics, electronic skin, and flexible wearable devices. However, it is still a critical challenge to achieve the synergistic characteristics of high conductivity, excellent self-healing efficiency without any stimulations, and decent mechanical properties. Herein, we developed a ferric-ion (Fe3+) crosslinked acrylic acid and chitosan polymer hydrogel using embedded polypyrrole particles with features of high conductivity (2.61S·m–1) and good mechanical performances (a tensile strength of 628%, a stress of 0.33 MPa, an elastic modulus of 0.146 MPa, and a toughness of 1.14 MJ·m–3). In addition, the self-healing efficiency achieved 93% in tensile strength after healing in the air for 9 h without any external stimuli. Therefore, with these outstanding mechanical, self-healing, and conductive abilities all in one, it is possible to fabricate a new kind of soft material with wide applications.