Puncture-Resistant Hydrogel: Placing Molecular Complexes Along Phase Boundaries

Xueqi Zhao, Meixiang Wang, Yongmei Chen, Ziguang Chen, Tao Suo, Wen Qian, Jian Hu, Xiaoping Song, Wai Ning Mei, Renat Sabirianov, Li Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Trendy advances in electric cars and wearable electronics triggered growing awareness in device lethality/survivability from accidents. A divergent design in protection calls for high stress resistance, large ductility, as well as efficient energy dissipation, all from the device itself, while keeping the weight-specific device performance to its premium. Unfortunately, the polymer electrolyte or the ductile elastomer lacks a mechanistic design to resist puncture or tear at a high stress level. Here, we designed molecular complexes along phase boundaries to mitigate the damages by placing these mechanically strong complexes along the phase boundaries or between two immiscible polymers. This puncture-resistant gel, dubbed as gel-nacre, is able to survive a few challenging incidents, including a 400 MPa puncture from a sharp nail, a 1 cm steel ball traveling at 540 km/h, and attempted rupture on stitched samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19421-19428
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 29 2019


  • hydrogel
  • molecular complexes
  • phase boundaries
  • puncture resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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