Tough, Elastic Ionogels Bend, But Do Not Break

NC State researchers have made a stretchable, bendable gel material that's 70% water and has remarkable properties. One in particular: toughness.

“Materials that can be deformed, but that are difficult to break or tear, are desirable,” says Michael Dickey , co-corresponding author of a paper on the work and the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. “Nature is good at this; think of cartilage as an example. But engineering synthetic materials with these properties has been difficult, which makes our work here exciting.”