Highly stretchable conductive MWNT-based polymer composites
M.K. Shin, J. Oh, R. Ovalle, M.D. Lima, M.E. Kozlov, R. Baughman
University of Texas at Dallas, US
Keywords: carbon nanotubes, composite, electrical conductivity
Abstract:The creation of stretchable and foldable conductive electrodes would enable many new applications such as smart clothing, strain sensors, stretchable skin for robots, stretchable circuits, flexible displays, and dielectric elastomer actuators. In order to achieve performance equal or superior to established technologies along with high flexibility, a number of studies involving carbon nanotubes and various polymers have been performed. In this work, we report novel rubberlike CNT/elastomeric polymer composites that combine extremely high stretchability and high electrical conductivity. They were prepared by easily scalable film casting technology, possess electrical conductivity of about 0.5 S/cm and can be stretched by 1400% of their original length. Because of unique 3D structure, the samples demonstrate highly reversible stress-strain behavior without noticeable mechanical and electrical damage even when stretched in a broad range. A number of prospective applications of this material is discussed.