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Enhancing the Intrinsic Stretchability of Micropatterned Gold Film by Covalent Linkage of Carbon Nanotubes for Wearable Electronics

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posted on 21.06.2019, 00:00 by Xiaoli Zhao, Shuo Yang, Zijing Sun, Nan Cui, Pengfei Zhao, Qingxin Tang, Yanhong Tong, Yichun Liu
Stretchable conductors that can comfortably work even under extreme deformation, such as bending, twisting, folding, or stretching, are indispensable electronic components for constructing soft sensors, memories, transistors, and electronic skins. Gold (Au) film serving as function electrodes, interconnects, and other components has become the most widely used material in a variety of soft devices. It is well-known that micropatterning of stretchable conductors is critical for the development and fabrication of high-integration multifunctional devices and sophisticated electronic devices. However, it is still a huge challenge to realize intrinsically stretchable micropatterned Au film. Here, we develop a facile strategy to achieve high-precision intrinsically stretchable micropatterned electrode by the one-step lift-off photolithography process. SWCNT is designed to covalently link with the Au surface to serve as conductive channels between cracks of the Au pattern for enhancing its intrinsic stretchability and hence ensures the excellent conductivity of the whole hybrid electrode under stretching. The obtained Au/SWCNTs hybrid electrode exhibits many superior advantages, including excellent mechanical stretchability of 175%, ultralow sheet resistance of 1.75 Ω □–1, smooth contact surface with the roughness of 0.73 nm, good conductive uniformity, and outstanding cyclic stretching stability. In addition, the electrode can normally work under different deformation, such as multiple folding, stretching, and conforming to the moving joint of the human body. These results indicate that our strategy offers a new platform for the fabrication of the intrinsic stretchable skin-like conductor, showing the promising potential for low-cost, large-area, and high-integration imperceptible wearable electronics.

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