Supramolecular Ionogels Tougher than Metals

Adv Mater. 2023 Jul;35(30):e2301383. doi: 10.1002/adma.202301383. Epub 2023 Jun 11.


Common natural and synthetic high-strength materials (such as rubber, plastics, ceramics, and metals) undergo the occurrence of poor deformability. Achieving high strength and large deformation simultaneously is a huge challenge. Herein, high-strength ionogels are developed through the synergy of force-induced crystallization and halometallate ionic liquid created supramolecular ionic networks. The prepared poly(vinyl alcohol)/halometallate ionic liquid ionogels show excellent mechanical properties, including ultimate fracture stress (63.1 ± 2.1 MPa), strain (5248 ± 113%), and unprecedented toughness (1947 ± 52 MJ m-3 ), which is much higher than that of most metals and alloys. Furthermore, the ionogels can achieve reversibility by water to realize green recovery and restoration of damaged mechanical properties.

Keywords: crystallization; ionogels; reversible entanglement; supramolecular ionic networks.