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Researchers create highly conductive and elastic conductors using silver nanowires
Date:7/12/2012

d. Because the polymer flows around the silver nanowires when it is in liquid form, the nanowires are trapped in the polymer when it becomes solid. The polymer can then be peeled off the silicon plate.

"Also silver nanowires can be printed to fabricate patterned stretchable conductors," Xu says. The fact that it is easy to make patterns using the silver nanowire conductors should facilitate the technique's use in electronics manufacturing.

When the nanowire-embedded polymer is stretched and relaxed, the surface of the polymer containing nanowires buckles. The end result is that the composite is flat on the side that contains no nanowires, but wavy on the side that contains silver nanowires.

After the nanowire-embedded surface has buckled, the material can be stretched up to 50 percent of its elongation, or tensile strain, without affecting the conductivity of the silver nanowires. This is because the buckled shape of the material allows the nanowires to stay in a fixed position relative to each other, even as the polymer is being stretched.

"In addition to having high conductivity and a large stable strain range, the new stretchable conductors show excellent robustness under repeated mechanical loading," Zhu says. Other reported stretchable conductive materials are typically deposited on top of substrates and could delaminate under repeated mechanical stretching or surface rubbing.


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Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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