5 years ago

Water-Enabled Healing of Conducting Polymer Films

Water-Enabled Healing of Conducting Polymer Films
Shiming Zhang, Fabio Cicoira
The conducting polymer polyethylenedioxythiophene doped with polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) has become one of the most successful organic conductive materials due to its high air stability, high electrical conductivity, and biocompatibility. In recent years, a great deal of attention has been paid to its fundamental physicochemical properties, but its healability has not been explored in depth. This communication reports the first observation of mechanical and electrical healability of PEDOT:PSS thin films. Upon reaching a certain thickness (about 1 µm), PEDOT:PSS thin films damaged with a sharp blade can be electrically healed by simply wetting the damaged area with water. The process is rapid, with a response time on the order of 150 ms. Significantly, after being wetted the films are transformed into autonomic self-healing materials without the need of external stimulation. This work reveals a new property of PEDOT:PSS and enables its immediate use in flexible and biocompatible electronics, such as electronic skin and bioimplanted electronics, placing conducting polymers on the front line for healing applications in electronics. Films of the conducting polymer polyethylenedioxythiophene doped with polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) can be rapidly healed after multiple damages upon the addition of water. The healed damage can be much larger than the film thickness. Films wet with water act as autonomic self-healing conductors. Healable PEDOT:PSS films can be exploited for electronic skin, self-healing circuits, water-enabled sensors, and wearable electronics.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201703098

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