Cryopolymerization enables anisotropic polyaniline hybrid hydrogels with superelasticity and highly deformation-tolerant electrochemical energy storage

January 07, 2020

Le Li (1), Yu Zhang (2), Hengyi Lu (1), Yufeng Wang (1), Jingsan Xu (3), Jixin Zhu (4), Chao Zhang (1), Tianxi Liu (1,5,6)
Nature Communications, 11, Issue 62, January 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-13959-9


Energy storage, Gels and hydrogels, Materials chemistry, Nanocomposites


The development of energy storage devices that can endure large and complex deformations is central to emerging wearable electronics. Hydrogels made from conducting polymers give rise to a promising integration of high conductivity and versatility in processing. However, the emergence of conducting polymer hydrogels with a desirable network structure cannot be readily achieved using conventional polymerization methods. Here we present a cryopolymerization strategy for preparing an intrinsically stretchable, compressible and bendable anisotropic polyvinyl alcohol/polyaniline hydrogel with a complete recovery of 100% stretching strain, 50% compressing strain and fully bending. Due to its high mechanical strength, superelastic properties and bi-continuous phase structure, the as-obtained anisotropic polyvinyl alcohol/polyaniline hydrogel can work as a stretching/compressing/bending electrode, maintaining its stable output under complex deformations for an all-solid-state supercapacitor. In particular, it achieves an extremely high energy density of 27.5 W h kg−1, which is among that of state-of-the-art stretchable supercapacitors.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used for the reconstruction of hydrogel samples images, which were acquired on SEM(Ultra 55, Zeiss).

Author Affiliation

(1) State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Innovation Center for Textile Science and Technology, Donghua University, 201620 Shanghai, P. R. China.
(2) The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.
(3) School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia.
(4) Shaanxi Institute of Flexible Electronics (SIFE), Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU), 127 West Youyi Road, 710072 Xi’an, P. R. China.
(5) Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Biological Colloids, Ministry of Education, School of Chemical and Material Engineering, Jiangnan University, 214122 Wuxi, P. R. China.
(6) Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Mold (Zhengzhou University), Ministry of Education, Zhengzhou 450002, P. R. China.