A Triblock Copolymer Design Leads to Robust Hybrid Hydrogels for High-Performance Flexible Supercapacitors

We report here an intriguing hybrid conductive hydrogel as electrode for high-performance flexible supercapacitor. The key is using a rationally designed water-soluble ABA triblock copolymer (termed as IAOAI) containing a central poly­(ethylene oxide) block (A) and terminal poly­(acrylamide) (PAAm) block with aniline moieties randomly incorporated (B), which was synthesized by reversible additional fragment transfer polymerization. The subsequent copolymerization of aniline monomers with the terminated aniline moieties on the IAOAI polymer generates a three-dimensional cross-linking hybrid network. The hybrid hydrogel electrode demonstrates robust mechanical flexibility, remarkable electrochemical capacitance (919 F/g), and cyclic stability (90% capacitance retention after 1000 cycles). Moreover, the flexible supercapacitor based on this hybrid hydrogel electrode presents a large specific capacitance (187 F/g), superior to most reported conductive hydrogel-based supercapacitors. With the demonstrated additional favorable cyclic stability and excellent capacitive and rate performance, this hybrid hydrogel-based supercapacitor holds great promise for flexible energy-storage device.