5 years ago

Printable elastic conductors by in situ formation of silver nanoparticles from silver flakes

Printable elastic conductors by in situ formation of silver nanoparticles from silver flakes
Yorishige Matsuba, Hanbit Jin, Daishi Inoue, Daisuke Hashizume, Akira Itoh, Naoji Matsuhisa, Takao Someya, Tomoyuki Yokota, Peter Zalar
Printable elastic conductors promise large-area stretchable sensor/actuator networks for healthcare, wearables and robotics. Elastomers with metal nanoparticles are one of the best approaches to achieve high performance, but large-area utilization is limited by difficulties in their processability. Here we report a printable elastic conductor containing Ag nanoparticles that are formed in situ, solely by mixing micrometre-sized Ag flakes, fluorine rubbers, and surfactant. Our printable elastic composites exhibit conductivity higher than 4,000Scm−1 (highest value: 6,168Scm−1) at 0% strain, and 935Scm−1 when stretched up to 400%. Ag nanoparticle formation is influenced by the surfactant, heating processes, and elastomer molecular weight, resulting in a drastic improvement of conductivity. Fully printed sensor networks for stretchable robots are demonstrated, sensing pressure and temperature accurately, even when stretched over 250%.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmat4904

DOI: 10.1038/nmat4904

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