Margarethe Hauck visiting Prof. Jaana Vapaavuori's group to study the conductive hydrogels
Doctoral candidate Margarethe Hauck from Kiel University, Germany, visited Aalto via FinnCERES GoGlobal Programme. She worked under the supervision of Professor Jaana Vapaavuori in a project dealing with the conductive hydrogels for wearable energy storage devices and sensors.
Biowaste-derived materials such as cellulose or pectin are promising materials for biocompatible and biodegradable applications. In previous work, a method based on tetrapodal zinc oxide (t-ZnO) was developed to prepare micro-engineered electrically conductive hydrogels with extremely low filler concentration of exfoliated graphene (EG). This fabrication method was transferred to cellulose- and pectin-based hydrogels. For this, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) with different surface charges as well as pectin powder were tested in combination with varying ions as physical cross-linking agents. The obtained composite could, e.g., be applied for biocompatible energy storage systems such as supercapacitors.