Whether it is a cellphone, a car, or our body, carrying out complex function requires combining different materials in synergy. Bonding soft materials is an engineering challenge that has just emerged as people start to design functional soft structures. Existing bonding strategies for hard materials do not transfer to soft materials because: 1. The surface of soft materials is constantly replenishing due to the fast structural relaxation. 2. Bonding between soft materials should not limit the deformability. In addition, as bonding would be a common operation during the manufacturing of any soft structure, complexity in a bonding procedure greatly taxes the overall manufacturing process. Convenience of the procedure is another key consideration in developing bonding strategies for soft materials.
- Yang, J., Bai, R., Li, J., Yang, C., Yao, X., Liu, Q., Vlassak, J.J., Mooney, D.J., & Suo, Z. (2019). Design Molecular Topology for Wet-Dry Adhesion. ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 11(27), 24802-24811. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b07522.
- Liu, Q., Nian, G., Yang, C., Qu, S., & Suo, Z. (2018). Bonding dissimilar polymer networks in various manufacturing processes. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 9(1), 846. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03269-x.
- Le Floch, P., Yao, X., Liu, Q., Wang, Z., Nian, G., Sun, Y., Jia, L., & Suo, Z. (2017). Wearable and Washable Conductors for Active Textiles. ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 9(30), 25542-25552. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b07361.