Researchers have created a new material that is extremely stretchy and extremely durable.
“A material that can be deformed but is difficult to break or tear is desirable,” said Michael, co-author of the paper on this study and professor of chemistry and biomolecular engineering at Camille & Henry Dreyfuss, North Carolina.・ Dicky states. University. “Nature is good at this. Consider cartilage as an example, but engineering. Synthetic material Those with these characteristics are difficult and the work here is exciting. “
Dickey and his collaborators have produced an ionogel that is almost 70% liquid, but with amazing mechanical properties. That is, they are tough. This means that deformation can consume a lot of energy and is very difficult to break. It’s also easy to create and process, and 3D printing is possible.
“Hydrogel, a polymer network containing water, is fairly common,” says Dickey. “for example, contact lens It’s hydrogel. However, ionogel has several advantages over hydrogel. Ionic liquids do not evaporate like water, so you don’t have to worry about the ionogel drying out. Ionogel is also electrically and thermally stable, easy to conduct electricity, and offers some interesting opportunities for future applications. “
To make new ionogels, researchers start with monomers of polyacrylic acid (used for baby diapers) and polyacrylamide (used for contact lenses) and use them in ionic liquid solutions. Copolymerized Ultraviolet rays.. In other words, they took the components of polyacrylic acid and polyacrylamide, put them in an ionic liquid, and exposed it to light to create a copolymer that incorporated both the monomer and the ionic liquid itself.
“The end result is significantly better than the average of the two materials,” says Dickey. “It’s like adding 1 + 1 to get 10. The resulting gel is more elastic than polyacrylic acid and even stronger than polyacrylamide. It’s better than cartilage in terms of toughness. , Various applications due to the difference between ionogel and hydrogel. “
In addition, the Ionogel created by the Dickies team has self-healing and shape memory properties. When two Ionogels are stuck together and exposed to heat, a strong bond is formed. Similarly, Ionogel can be temporarily transformed into a new shape, but it will return to its original shape when exposed to heat. The amount of heat required depends on the time it takes for the material to “heal” or return to its normal shape. When exposed to a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, the action takes only a few tens of seconds.
“We are thrilled to be able to use widely available polymers to create something with truly amazing properties that is very easy to create. Just shine a light on it,” says Dickey. “And by controlling the proportions of the components during the copolymerization process, the properties of the ionogel can be adjusted.
“We are already working with one industry partner and welcome to work with other partners to develop this new kind of ionogel application.”
The paper “Tough and elastic ionogel by in situ phase separation” Nature Materials.. The lead author of this paper is Meixiang Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at North Carolina State University and a member of Xi’an Jiaotong University. This paper was co-authored by Mohammad Shamsi, who holds his PhD. A student at North Carolina State University. Jacob Teren, a collaborator at North Carolina State University. Vi Khanh Truong, a visiting researcher at North Carolina State University and a member of RMIT University. Jinwoo Ma, a postdoctoral fellow at North Carolina State University. Pengyao Zhang and Jian Hu of Xi’an Jiaotong University; Wen Chien of the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Jian Hu, tough and stretchy ionogel due to phase separation, Nature Materials (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41563-022-01195-4.. www.nature.com/articles/s41563-022-01195-4
North Carolina State University
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The new material offers an amazing combination of toughness and elasticity
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