Ionoprinting controlled information storage of fluorescent hydrogel for hierarchical and multi-dimensional decryption



Information storage and corresponding encryption/decryption are highly important owing to the prevalence of counterfeit activities and information leakage in the current age. Herein, we propose a novel method to store information via controllable ionoprinting onto fluorescent hydrogel for hierarchical and multi-dimensional decryption. Through incorporating pyrene moieties and carboxylic groups into polymeric hydrogel network, fluorescence changing and controllable shape deformation behaviors could be achieved and integrated by ionoprinting of Fe3+ ions. The diffusion of Fe3+ ions into fluorescent hydrogel can quench the fluorescence of pyrene moieties, and chelate with carboxylic groups to generate anisotropic structures for shape deformation simultaneously. Thus, fluorescence quenching-based 2D information and actuation-based 3D information could be hierarchically decrypted when exposed to UV light and being put into water, respectively. Importantly, the stored information could be erased by replacing Fe3+ with H+, which allows the fluorescent hydrogel as a recyclable information storage material. This work may provide new insights in designing and fabricating novel soft devices for hierarchical and multidimensional information encryption, against the rising problems of counterfeiting and confidential information disclosure.


本文通过离子印染的方式, 赋予荧光水凝胶信息, 并将其用于逐级、多维度信息存储. 通过铁离子的引入, 荧光水凝胶中的芘基团会发生荧光淬灭, 在紫外灯下可用于二维平面的信息存储; 同时, 铁离子的扩散会赋予水凝胶各向异性的结构, 使得其在水中驱动得到三维的信息. 并且, 储存的二维、三维信息可以通过氢离子取代铁离子进行擦除, 这使得材料具有很好的可重复利用性. 总之, 本文为新型柔性信息存储装置的设计和制备提供了新的思路.


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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFB1105103), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51873223, 51773215, 21774138), the Key Research Program of Frontier Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDB-SSW-SLH036), the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang province (LY17B040003), the International Cooperation Foundation of Ningbo (2017D10014), and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2017337).

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Correspondence to Jia-Wei Zhang 张佳玮 or Tao Chen 陈涛.

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Xiaoxia Le received her BSc degree from Zhejiang University of Technology in 2014. She is now a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Tao Chen and Prof. Jiawei Zhang. Her research interest focuses on shape memory hydrogels and hydrogel actuators.

Jiawei Zhang received her PhD degree of polymer chemistry and physics from Nankai University in 2010, during which she had research training in University of Montreal (2007—2009, Canada). After postdoctoral training at Tsinghua University, she joined Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences as an associate professor in 2013, and she was promoted to full professor in 2016. She has been devoting great efforts to construct intelligent stimuli-responsive hydrogels including smart polymeric hydrogel actuators and shape memory hydrogels.

Tao Chen received his PhD degree in polymer chemistry and physics from Zhejiang University (Prof. Li Wang’s group) in 2006. After his postdoctoral training in the Department of Chemistry at University of Warwick (Prof. Stefan A.F. Bon’s group), he joined Prof. Stefan Zauscher’s group at Duke University in USA as a research scientist. He then moved back to Europe as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow hosted by Prof. Rainer Jordan at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Since 2012, he is a full professor at Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences upon being awarded with Thousand Young Talents Program by Chinese Central Government. His research interest includes smart polymers and their hybrid systems with applications as actuators, shape memory polymers and chemical sensing.

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Supplementary material, approximately 3.11 MB.

Ionoprinting Controlled Information Storage of Fluorescent Hydrogel for Hierarchical and Multi-dimensional Decryption

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Le, X., Lu, W., He, J. et al. Ionoprinting controlled information storage of fluorescent hydrogel for hierarchical and multi-dimensional decryption. Sci. China Mater. 62, 831–839 (2019).

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  • information storage
  • information decryption
  • hydrogel actuator
  • fluorescence quenching
  • anisotropic structures