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Article

Thermal Transport in Soft PAAm Hydrogels

by 1,†, 2,3,†, 2,3,†, 2,3, 2,3, 2,3, 2,3,* and 1,4,*
1
School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Rd., Wuhan 430074, China
2
Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Rd., Wuhan 430074, China
3
Nano Interface Center for Energy, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Rd., Wuhan 430074, China
4
Innovation Institute, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Rd., Wuhan 430074, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2017, 9(12), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120688
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Materials and Systems)
As the interface between human and machine becomes blurred, hydrogel incorporated electronics and devices have emerged to be a new class of flexible/stretchable electronic and ionic devices due to their extraordinary properties, such as softness, mechanically robustness, and biocompatibility. However, heat dissipation in these devices could be a critical issue and remains unexplored. Here, we report the experimental measurements and equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of thermal conduction in polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogels. The thermal conductivity of PAAm hydrogels can be modulated by both the effective crosslinking density and water content in hydrogels. The effective crosslinking density dependent thermal conductivity in hydrogels varies from 0.33 to 0.51 Wm−1K−1, giving a 54% enhancement. We attribute the crosslinking effect to the competition between the increased conduction pathways and the enhanced phonon scattering effect. Moreover, water content can act as filler in polymers which leads to nearly 40% enhancement in thermal conductivity in PAAm hydrogels with water content vary from 23 to 88 wt %. Furthermore, we find the thermal conductivity of PAAm hydrogel is insensitive to temperature in the range of 25–40 °C. Our study offers fundamental understanding of thermal transport in soft materials and provides design guidance for hydrogel-based devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; thermal conductivity; 3ω method; molecular dynamics hydrogel; thermal conductivity; 3ω method; molecular dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tang, N.; Peng, Z.; Guo, R.; An, M.; Chen, X.; Li, X.; Yang, N.; Zang, J. Thermal Transport in Soft PAAm Hydrogels. Polymers 2017, 9, 688. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120688

AMA Style

Tang N, Peng Z, Guo R, An M, Chen X, Li X, Yang N, Zang J. Thermal Transport in Soft PAAm Hydrogels. Polymers. 2017; 9(12):688. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120688

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tang, Ni, Zhan Peng, Rulei Guo, Meng An, Xiandong Chen, Xiaobo Li, Nuo Yang, and Jianfeng Zang. 2017. "Thermal Transport in Soft PAAm Hydrogels" Polymers 9, no. 12: 688. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9120688

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