Electric-Field-Induced Gradient Ionogels for Highly Sensitive, Broad-Range-Response, and Freeze/Heat-Resistant Ionic Fingers
Yongyuan Ren1, Ziyang Liu1, Guoqing Jin2, Mengke Yang2, Yizhe Shao, Weizheng Li1, Yiqing Wu1, Lili Liu1, and Feng Yan1,*（严锋）
1College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science，Soochow University，Suzhou 215123, China
2Robotics and Microsystems Centre，School of Mechanical and Electric Engineering，Soochow University，Suzhou 215123, China
3State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structure，Xi’an Jiaotong University，Xi’an 710049, China
Adv. Mater. 2021, 33, 2008486
Human fingers exhibit both high sensitivity and wide tactile range. The finger skin structures are designed to display gradient microstructures and compressibility. Inspired by the gradient mechanical Young's modulus distribution, an electric‐field‐induced cationic crosslinker migration strategy is demonstrated to prepare gradient ionogels. Due to the gradient of the crosslinkers, the ionogels exhibit more than four orders of magnitude difference between the anode and the cathode side, enabling gradient ionogel‐based flexible iontronic sensors having high‐sensitivity and broader‐range detection (from 3 × 102 to 2.5 × 106 Pa) simultaneously. Moreover, owing to the remarkable properties of the gradient ionogels, the flexible iontronic sensors also show good long‐time stability (even after 10 000 cycles loadings) and excellent performance over a wide temperature range (from −108 to 300 °C). The flexible iontronic sensors are further integrated on soft grips, exhibiting remarkable performance under various conditions. These attractive features demonstrate that gradient ionogels will be promising candidates for smart sensor applications in complex and extreme conditions.