Li, Zhang, Lu, Wang, Xu, Zhu, Zhang, Liu (2020) Cryopolymerization enables anisotropic polyaniline hybrid hydrogels with superelasticity and highly deformation-tolerant electrochemical energy storage Nature communications 11(1) 62


The development of energy storage devices that can endure large and complex deformations is central to emerging wearable electronics. Hydrogels made from conducting polymers give rise to a promising integration of high conductivity and versatility in processing. However, the emergence of conducting polymer hydrogels with a desirable network structure cannot be readily achieved using conventional polymerization methods. Here we present a cryopolymerization strategy for preparing an intrinsically stretchable, compressible and bendable anisotropic polyvinyl alcohol/polyaniline hydrogel with a complete recovery of 100% stretching strain, 50% compressing strain and fully bending. Due to its high mechanical strength, superelastic properties and bi-continuous phase structure, the as-obtained anisotropic polyvinyl alcohol/polyaniline hydrogel can work as a stretching/compressing/bending electrode, maintaining its stable output under complex deformations for an all-solid-state supercapacitor. In particular, it achieves an extremely high energy density of 27.5 W h kg-1, which is among that of state-of-the-art stretchable supercapacitors.