Yarn-based supercapacitors have received considerable attention recently, offering unprecedented opportunities for future wearable electronic devices (e.g., smart clothes). However, the reliability and lifespan of yarn-based supercapacitors can be seriously limited by accidental mechanical damage during practical applications. Therefore, a supercapacitor endowed with mechanically and electrically self-healing properties is a brilliant solution to the challenge. Compared with the conventional planar-like or large wire-like structure, the reconnection of the broken yarn electrode composed of multiple tiny fibers (diameter <20 μm) is much more difficult and challenging, which directly affects the restoration of electrical conductivity after damage. Herein, a self-healable yarn-based supercapacitor that ensures the reconnection of broken electrodes has been successfully developed by wrapping magnetic electrodes around a self-healing polymer shell. The strong force from magnetic attraction between the broken yarn electrodes benefits reconnection of fibers in the yarn electrodes during self-healing and thus offers an effective strategy for the restoration of electric conductivity, whereas the polymer shell recovers the configuration integrity and mechanical strength. With the design, the specific capacitance of our prototype can be restored up to 71.8% even after four breaking/healing cycles with great maintenance of the whole device's mechanical properties. This work may inspire the design and fabrication of other distinctive self-healable and wearable electronic devices.
Keywords: magnetic-assisted; self-healable; supercapacitor; yarn.