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Ultra-stretchable and Conductive Polyacrylamide/Carboxymethyl Chitosan Composite Hydrogels as Flexible Sensors
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  • Hongyao Ding,
  • Jie Liu,
  • Peixian Huo,
  • Xinning Zhang,
  • Xiaodong Shen,
  • Yuefang Wen,
  • Hui Li,
  • Qiang Zheng,
  • Ziliang Wu
Hongyao Ding
Nanjing Tech University
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Jie Liu
Nanjing Tech University
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Peixian Huo
University of Macau
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Xinning Zhang
Zhejiang University
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Xiaodong Shen
Nanjing Tech University
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Yuefang Wen
Nanjing Tech University
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Hui Li
Nanjing Tech University
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Qiang Zheng
Zhejiang University
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Ziliang Wu
Zhejiang University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

There is a great demand for the fabrication of soft electronics using hydrogels due to their biomimetic structures and good flexibility. However, conventional hydrogels have poor mechanical properties, which restricts their applications as stretchable sensors. Herein, a facile one-step strategy is proposed to fabricate tough hydrogels with a semi-interpenetrating network structure by free-radical polymerization. The obtained polyacrylamide/carboxymethyl chitosan composite hydrogels possess outstanding transmittance and excellent mechanical performances, with tensile breaking stress of 260 kPa, breaking strain of 3300%, and toughness of 2400 kJ/m3. These hydrogels have low modulus of ~10 kPa, fast recoverability after unloading, and high conductivity of ~0.85 S/m without the addition of other conductive substances. The ionic conductivity of the gels originates from the counterions of carboxymethyl chitosan, affording the hydrogels as resistive-type sensors. The resultant hydrogel sensors demonstrate a broad strain window, excellent linear response, high sensitivity with a gauge factor, and great durability, capable of monitoring diverse human motions. This work provides a new strategy to develop stretchable conductive hydrogels with promising applications in the fields of artificial intelligence and flexible electronics.