Robust Conductive Hydrogels with Ultrafast Self-Recovery and Nearly Zero Response Hysteresis for Epidermal Sensors

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Jul 19;11(7):1854. doi: 10.3390/nano11071854.


Robust conductive hydrogels are in great demand for the practical applications of smart soft robots, epidermal electronics, and human-machine interactions. We successfully prepared nanoparticles enhanced polyacrylamide/hydroxypropyl guar gum/acryloyl-grafted chitosan quaternary ammonium salt/calcium ions/SiO2 nanoparticles (PHC/Ca2+/SiO2 NPs) conductive hydrogels. Owing to the stable chemical and physical hybrid crosslinking networks and reversible non-covalent interactions, the PHC/Ca2+/SiO2 NPs conductive hydrogel showed good conductivity (~3.39 S/m), excellent toughness (6.71 MJ/m3), high stretchability (2256%), fast self-recovery (80% within 10 s, and 100% within 30 s), and good fatigue resistance. The maximum gauge factor as high as 66.99 was obtained, with a wide detectable strain range (from 0.25% to 500% strain), the fast response (25.00 ms) and recovery time (86.12 ms), excellent negligible response hysteresis, and good response stability. The applications of monitoring the human's body movements were demonstrated, such as wrist bending and pulse tracking.

Keywords: hydrogels; toughness; wearable sensors.