Stretchable multifunctional hydrogels for sensing electronics with effective EMI shielding properties

Mingming Hao, Yongfeng Wang, Lianhui Li, Qifeng Lu, Fuqin Sun, Lili Li, Xianqing Yang, Yue Li, Mengyuan Liu, Sijia Feng, Simin Feng, Ting Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogel-based soft and stretchable materials with skin/tissue-like mechanical properties provide new avenues for the design and fabrication of wearable sensors. However, synthesizing multifunctional hydrogels that simultaneously possess excellent mechanical, electrical and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding effectiveness is still a great challenge. In this work, the freeze-casting method is employed to fabricate a multifunctional hydrogel by filling Fe3O4clusters into poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrene sulfonic acid) (PEDOT:PSS) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) composite aqueous solution. The hydrogel possesses superior electrical and mechanical properties as well as great electromagnetic wave shielding properties. Benefiting from the high stretchability (∼904.5%) and fast sensing performance (response time ∼9 ms and self-recovery time ∼12 ms within the strain range ∼100%), the monitoring of human activities and manipulation of a remote-controlled toy car using the hydrogel-based stretchable strain sensors are successfully demonstrated. In addition, a great EMI shielding effectiveness with more than 46 dB in the frequencies of 8-12.5 GHz can be obtained, which provides an alternative strategy for designing next-generation EMI shielding materials. These results indicate that the multifunctional hydrogels can be used as flexible and stretchable sensing electronics requiring effective EMI shielding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9057-9065
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

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