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Hierarchical nanostructured conducting polymer hydrogel with high electrochemical activity

Pan, Lijia, Yu, Guihua, Zhai, Dongyuan, Lee, Hye Ryoung, Zhao, Wenting, Liu, Nian, Wang, Huiliang, Tee, Benjamin C.-K., Shi, Yi, Cui, Yi, Bao, Zhenan
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012 v.109 no.24 pp. 9287-9292
capacitance, electrochemistry, electrodes, energy, glucose oxidase, hydrocolloids, nanomaterials, polymerization, polymers, surface area
Conducting polymer hydrogels represent a unique class of materials that synergizes the advantageous features of hydrogels and organic conductors and have been used in many applications such as bioelectronics and energy storage devices. They are often synthesized by polymerizing conductive polymer monomer within a nonconducting hydrogel matrix, resulting in deterioration of their electrical properties. Here, we report a scalable and versatile synthesis of multifunctional polyaniline (PAni) hydrogel with excellent electronic conductivity and electrochemical properties. With high surface area and three-dimensional porous nanostructures, the PAni hydrogels demonstrated potential as high-performance supercapacitor electrodes with high specific capacitance (∼480 F·g ⁻¹), unprecedented rate capability, and cycling stability (∼83% capacitance retention after 10,000 cycles). The PAni hydrogels can also function as the active component of glucose oxidase sensors with fast response time (∼0.3 s) and superior sensitivity (∼16.7 μA·mM ⁻¹). The scalable synthesis and excellent electrode performance of the PAni hydrogel make it an attractive candidate for bioelectronics and future-generation energy storage electrodes.