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Spray-Processed Composites with High Conductivity and Elasticity

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journal contribution
posted on 20.03.2018, 00:00 by Mert Vural, Adam M. Behrens, Wonseok Hwang, Joseph J. Ayoub, Dalton Chasser, Arthur von Wald Cresce, Omar B. Ayyub, Robert M. Briber, Peter Kofinas
Highly conductive elastic composites were constructed using multistep solution-based fabrication methods that included the deposition of a nonwoven polymer fiber mat through solution blow spinning and nanoparticle nucleation. High nanoparticle loading was achieved by introducing silver nanoparticles into the fiber spinning solution. The presence of the silver nanoparticles facilitates improved uptake of silver nanoparticle precursor in subsequent processing steps. The precursor is used to generate a second nanoparticle population, leading to high loading and conductivity. Establishing high nanoparticle loading in a microfibrous block copolymer network generated deformable composites that can sustain electrical conductivities reaching 9000 S/cm under 100% tensile strain. These conductive elastic fabrics can retain at least 70% of their initial electrical conductivity after being stretched to 100% strain and released for 500 cycles. This composite material system has the potential to be implemented in wearable electronics and robotic systems.