Dual encryption of digital information in a tough fluorescent hydrogel

Yang Liu, Ming Li, Huaqiang Ju, Zeju Wang, Yitao Wu, Zi Liang Wu, Huangtianzhi Zhu, Feihe Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Hydrogels capable of shape-morphing and/or fluorescence modulation have practical significance in the field of anti-counterfeiting, while tough hydrogels with tunable fluorescence for multi-level encryptions have been rarely explored. Herein, we report a hydrogel P(DAE-co-AAc) for dual information encryption. The hydrogel is prepared by copolymerization of photoresponsive diarylethylene and acrylic acid, and it exhibits tunable mechanical properties and fluorescence. The soft hydrogel becomes tough when exposed to UV irradiation which induces dimerization of diarylethylene units, and thus information can be concealed by a folding-and-irradiation process. Tunable fluorescence upon irradiation enables photolithography for pattern encryption. Benefitting from reversible photo-decrosslinking, shape and emission recoveries can be realized, making the encryption material recyclable. We believe this work will be inspiring for the design of smart materials for information encryption.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6255-6260
Number of pages6
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-12-07
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4032
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFA0910100), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (22035006), the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LD21B020001), the Starry Night Science Fund of Zhejiang University Shanghai Institute for Advanced Study (SN-ZJU SIAS-006), and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Office of Sponsored Research (OSR-2019-CRG8-4032).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Polymers and Plastics


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