Hydrogels as dynamic memory with forgetting ability


The memory of our brain, stored in soft matter, is dynamic, and it forgets spontaneously to filter unimportant information. By contrast, the existing manmade memory, made from hard materials, is static, and it does not forget without external stimuli. Here we propose a principle for developing dynamic memory from soft hydrogels with temperature-sensitive dynamic bonds. The memorizing-forgetting behavior is achieved based on fast water uptake and slow water release upon thermal stimulus, as well as thermal-history-dependent transparency change of these gels. The forgetting time is proportional to the thermal learning time, in analogy to the behavior of brain. The memory is stable against temperature fluctuation and large stretching; moreover, the forgetting process is programmable. This principle may inspire future research on dynamic memory based on the nonequilibrium process of soft matter.


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