Skin-Like Mechanoresponsive Self-Healing Ionic Elastomer from Supramolecular Zwitterionic Network
Wei Zhang, Baohu Wu, Shengtong Sun*, and Peiyi Wu*. Skin-Like Mechanoresponsive Self-Healing Ionic Elastomer from Supramolecular Zwitterionic Network. Nat. Commun. 2021, 12, 4082.
Stretchable ionic skins are intriguing in mimicking the versatile sensations of natural skins. However, for their applications in advanced electronics, good elastic recovery, self-healing, and more importantly, skin-like nonlinear mechanoresponse (strain-stiffening) are essential but can be rarely met in one material. Here we demonstrate a robust proton-conductive ionic skin design via introducing an entropy-driven supramolecular zwitterionic reorganizable network to the hydrogen-bonded polycarboxylic acid network. The design allows two dynamic networks with distinct interacting strength to sequentially debond with stretch, and the conflict among elasticity, self-healing, and strain-stiffening can be thus defeated. The representative polyacrylic acid/betaine elastomer exhibits high stretchability (1600% elongation), immense strain-stiffening (24-fold modulus enhancement), ~100% self-healing, excellent elasticity (97.9 ± 1.1% recovery ratio, <14% hysteresis), high transparency (99.7 ± 0.1%), moisture-preserving, anti-freezing (elastic at −40 °C), water reprocessibility, as well as easy-to-peel adhesion. The combined advantages make the present ionic elastomer very promising in wearable iontronic sensors for human-machine interfacing.