2024 journal article

Surface Embedded Metal Nanowire-Liquid Metal-Elastomer Hybrid Composites for Stretchable Electronics


author keywords: silver nanowire; liquidmetal; stretchableelectronics; hybrid composite; intermetallic alloy; sintering
Source: Web Of Science
Added: April 1, 2024

Both liquid metal (LM) and metallic filler-based conductive composites are promising stretchable conductors. LM alloys exhibit intrinsically high deformability but present challenges for patterning on polymeric substrates due to high surface tension. On the other hand, conductive composites comprising metallic fillers undergo considerable decrease in electrical conductivity under mechanical deformation. To address the challenges, we present silver nanowire (AgNW)-LM-elastomer hybrid composite films, where AgNWs and LM are embedded below the surface of an elastomeric matrix, using two fabrication approaches, sequential and mixed. We investigate and understand the process-structure-property relationship of the AgNW-LM-elastomer hybrid composites fabricated using two approaches. Different weight ratios of AgNWs and LM particles provide tunable electrical conductivity. The hybrid composites show more stable electromechanical performance than the composites with AgNWs alone. In particular, 1:2.4 (AgNW:LMP w/w) sequential hybrid composite shows electromechanical stability similar to that of the LM-elastomer composite, with a resistance increase of 2.04% at 90% strain. The sequential approach is found to form AgIn2 intermetallic compounds which along with Ga-In bonds, imparts large deformability to the sequential hybrid composite as well as mechanical robustness against scratching, cutting, peeling, and wiping. To demonstrate the application of the hybrid composite for stretchable electronics, a laser patterned stretchable heater on textile and a stretchable circuit including a light-emitting diode are fabricated.