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Ultrastretchable Analog/Digital Signal Transmission Line with Carbon Nanotube Sheets

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posted on 20.07.2017, 00:00 by Yourack Lee, Min-Kyu Joo, Viet Thong Le, Raquel Ovalle-Robles, Xavier Lepró, Márcio D. Lima, Daniel G. Suh, Han Young Yu, Young Hee Lee, Dongseok Suh
Stretchable conductors can be used in various applications depending on their own characteristics. Here, we demonstrate simple and robust elastomeric conductors that are optimized for stretchable electrical signal transmission line. They can withstand strains up to 600% without any substantial change in their resistance (≤10% as is and ≤1% with passivation), and exhibit suppressed charge fluctuations in the medium. The inherent elasticity of a polymeric rubber and the high conductivity of flexible, highly oriented carbon nanotube sheets were combined synergistically, without losing both properties. The nanoscopic strong adhesion between aligned carbon nanotube arrays and strained elastomeric polymers induces conductive wavy folds with microscopic bending of radii on the scale of a few micrometers. Such features enable practical applications such as in elastomeric length-changeable electrical digital and analog signal transmission lines at above MHz frequencies. In addition to reporting basic direct current, alternating current, and noise characterizations of the elastomeric conductors, various examples as a stretchable signal transmission line up to 600% strains are presented by confirming the capability of transmitting audio and video signals, as well as low-frequency medical signals without information distortion.