Cellulose nanocrystals in biodegradable electronics

Ionic driven devices have been increasingly investigated in the drive to develop flexible and bio-integrable electronics. One such device is a polyelectrolyte gel diode capable of rectifying ionic current. Herein, bioderived cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are used to create light, flexible, biocompatible, and biodegradable ionic diode devices. We demonstrated rectification behavior from a fixed junction between two agarose hydrogels doped with cationic and anionic cellulose nanocrystals.[1] The current rectification ratio reaches 70 reproducibly and the current−voltage characteristics of the CNC−hydrogel diode are influenced by concentration, gel thickness, scanning frequency, and applied voltage. In addition, we explore the mechanism behind the rectification of ionic current based on a theoretical electrochemical model and validate it using experimental data.[2] We show that the diode operates via a physical mechanism that involves the electrochemical generation of proton and hydroxyl ions at the electrodes to generate current.[3]

[1] K. Nyamayaro, P. Keyvani, F. D’Acierno, J. Poisson, Z. M. Hudson, C. A. Michal, J. D. W. Madden, S. G. Hatzikiriakos and P. Mehrkhodavandi, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2020, 12, 52182–52191.
[2] T. Yamamoto and M. Doi, Nat. Commun., 2014, 5, 4162.
[3] K. Nyamayaro, V. Triandafilidi, P. Keyvani, J. Rottler, P. Mehrkhodavandi and S. G. Hatzikiriakos, Phys. Fluids, 2021, 33, 32010.