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The Future of Hydrogels in Photonic Devices: An Insight into Recent Research

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Zara Nwosu
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The Future of Hydrogels in Photonic Devices: An Insight into Recent Research

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A New Era of Innovation with Hydrogels in Photonic Devices

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Recent research has provided exciting insights into the potential applications of hydrogels in the fabrication of photonic devices with stimuli-responsive functionalities. These advancements are expected to revolutionize areas such as humidity sensors, drug delivery systems, and encryption devices. The integration of hydrogels and photonic devices could lead to significant advancements in both commercialization and academic research.

Advanced Fabrication Techniques for Hydrogel-Based Photonic Devices

Experts are exploring various fabrication techniques like spin-coating, dip-coating, and molecular self-assembly to create hydrogel films and structures. The study also sheds light on the implementation of metal-hydrogel-metal configurations for tunable optical responses through external stimuli.

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High Strength Anisotropic Bamboo Hydrogel: A New Generation of Biomass-Based Hydrogels

According to a recent article in the Chemical Engineering Journal, high strength anisotropic bamboo hydrogel has been fabricated through in situ lignin modification. The process modifies lignin in natural bamboo using UV photocatalic oxidation, resulting in a photonic bamboo skeleton with hierarchical anisotropic porous structure. The high intensity biomass template provides potential applications in micro/nanofluidic and sensor fields.

Reversible Chemical Cross-linking in Hydrogels

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An innovative synthesis of a copolymer PAC has emerged from precipitation polymerization of acrylic acid and 7-(2-acrylate-ethoxylated)-4-methylcoumarin. The coumarin groups on the copolymer PAC side chains offer reversible chemical cross-linking via photostimulation, leading to reversible regulation of the gel network structure. The PAC copolymer presents excellent adhesion property based on the reversible sol–gel transition and could find applications in engineering and biomedical materials.

Construction of Multiple Stimuli-Responsive 2D Photonic Crystal DNA Hydrogel Sensing Platform

Researchers have been keen on the construction and research of a multiple stimuli-responsive 2D photonic crystal DNA hydrogel sensing platform. The platform features a double-network structure and signal self-expression, enhancing the fabrication capabilities of photonic devices using hydrogel.

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Light-Cured Conductive Hydrogels: An Innovation for Bioactive Scaffolds

The fabrication of light-cured conductive hydrogels using MXene-based composites has shown promise for the regeneration of electroactive tissues and bioelectronic interfaces. The process explores the photo-cross-linking process and the effects of different types of photoinitiators and MX concentrations on the properties of the hydrogels. The developed hydrogels could serve as bioactive and conductive scaffolds to modulate cellular functions and for tissue-device interfacing.

Hydrogels in Atmospheric Water Harvesting

The importance of atmospheric water harvesting as a supplemental freshwater production technique is becoming increasingly recognized. Hydrogels, particularly polyaniline-based hydrogels, have shown potential in this area. The recent developments in the design of water harvesting materials and the optimization of the overall system have shown a promising future for the application of hydrogels in atmospheric water harvesting.

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