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Electrically Conductive Silicone-Based Nanocomposites Incorporated with Carbon Nanotubes and Silver Nanowires for Stretchable Electrodes

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posted on 2021-11-16, 15:34 authored by Tae Gon Kim, Hyeon Sik Eom, Jong Hwi Kim, Jik Kyo Jung, Keon-Soo Jang, Seong Jae Lee
Stretchable electrode materials have attracted great attention as next-generation electronic materials because of their ability to maintain intrinsic properties with rare damage when undergoing repetitive deformations, such as folding, twisting, and stretching. In this study, an electrically conductive PDMS nanocomposite was manufactured by combining the hybrid nanofillers of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and silver nanowires (AgNWs). The amphiphilic isopropyl alcohol molecules temporarily adhered simultaneously to the hydrophobic CNT and hydrophilic AgNW surfaces, thereby improving the dispersity. As the CNT/AgNW ratio (wt %/wt %) decreased under the constant nanofiller content, the tensile modulus decreased and the elongation at break increased owing to the poor interaction between the AgNWs and matrix. The shear storage moduli of all nanocomposites were higher than the loss moduli, indicating the elastic behavior with a cross-linked network. The electrical conductivities of the nanocomposite containing the hybrid nanofillers were superior to those of the nanocomposite containing either CNT or AgNW at the same filler content (4 wt %). The hybrid nanofillers were rearranged and deformed by 5000 cyclic strain tests, relaxing the PDMS matrix chain and weakening the interfacial bonding. However, the elastic behavior was maintained. The dynamic electrical conductivities gradually increased under the cyclic strain tests due to the rearrangement and tunneling effect of the nanofillers. The highest dynamic electrical conductivity (10 S/m) was obtained for the nanocomposite consisting of 2 wt % of CNTs and 2 wt % of AgNWs.

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