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Printable elastic conductors by in situ formation of silver nanoparticles from silver flakes

Naoji Matsuhisa1, Daishi Inoue2, Peter Zalar1,3, Hanbit Jin1, Yorishige Matsuba1,3, Akira Itoh1,3,Tomoyuki Yokota1,3, Daisuke Hashizume2 and Takao Someya1,2,3,4*

 

Printable elastic conductors promise large-area stretchable sensor/actuator networks for healthcare, wearables and robotics.

Elastomers with metal nanoparticles are one of the best approaches to achieve high performance, but large-area utilization is limited by diculties in their processability. Here we report a printable elastic conductor containing Ag nanoparticles that are formed in situ, solely by mixing micrometre-sized Ag flakes, fluorine rubbers, and surfactant. Our printable elastic composites

exhibit conductivity higher than 4,000 S cm1 (highest value: 6,168 S cm1) at 0% strain, and 935 S cm1 when stretched up to 400%. Ag nanoparticle formation is influenced by the surfactant, heating processes, and elastomer molecular weight, resulting in a drastic improvement of conductivity. Fully printed sensor networks for stretchable robots are demonstrated,

sensing pressure and temperature accurately, even when stretched over 250%.



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