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Self-Integratable, Healable, and Stretchable Electroluminescent Device Fabricated via Dynamic Urea Bonds Equipped in Polyurethane

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-02-21, 20:14 authored by Yoo Bin Shin, Yun Hee Ju, Hee-Jin Lee, Chul Jong Han, Cheul-Ro Lee, Youngmin Kim, Jong-Woong Kim
Reversible bonding between polymer chains has been used primarily to induce self-healing of damaged polymers. Inspired by the dynamic nature of such bonding, we have developed a polyurethane equipped with dynamic urea bonds (PEDUB) that has high strength sufficient to make it be freestanding and have a healing capability and self-bonding property. This allowed subsequent heterogeneous multicomponent device integration of electrodes/substrate and light-emitting pixels into a light-emitting device. We first used the PEDUB to individually fabricate a highly stretchable electrode containing Ag nanowires and stretchable composites with ZnS-based particles. They were successfully assembled into a stretchable, waterproof electroluminescent (EL) device even under mild conditions (60 °C for 10 min) owing to the reversible exchange of urea bonds and low glass transition temperature of PEDUB. The assembled device with an AC-driven EL architecture retained excellent EL characteristics even after stretching, submersion in water, and cutting owing to the robust solid-state bonding interfaces induced by the dynamic urea bonds. Consequently, various shapes of the illuminating elastomer and an illuminated picture were realized for the first time using the mosaic-like assembly method. This first demonstration of multicomponent assembly paves the way for future stretchable multifunctional devices.