Tough and Stretchable Ionogels
Researchers at NC State University have developed new materials that fall under the broad category of ionogels that are tough and stretchable. Ionogels are polymer networks that contain salts that are liquid at room temperature. Such salts are called ionic liquids. The researchers have made ionogels that are nearly 70% liquid, but have remarkable mechanical properties. They dissipate a lot of energy when deformed, which makes them very difficult to break. Ionogels have advantages over hydrogels as they don't evaporate like water. Ionogels are electrically and thermally stable and conduct electricity as well, raising some interesting opportunities for future applications. In addition, the ionogels created also have self-healing and shape memory properties. It is possible to stick two pieces of ionogel together, expose it to heat, and creates a strong bond.