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ACS Nano. 2019 Jun 25;13(6):6531-6539. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.9b00160. Epub 2019 May 13.

An Ultrastretchable and Self-Healable Nanocomposite Conductor Enabled by Autonomously Percolative Electrical Pathways.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Inter-University Semiconductor Research Center , Seoul National University , 1-Gwanak-ro , Gwanak-gu, Seoul 08826 , Republic of Korea.
2
Biomedical Research Institute , Korea Institute of Science and Technology , Seoul 02792 , Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Chemical Engineering , Stanford University , Stanford , California 94305-5025 , United States.
4
Advanced Analysis Center , Korea Institute of Science and Technology , Seoul 02792 , Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Materials Science and Engineering , Korea University , Seoul 02841 , Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Both self-healable conductors and stretchable conductors have been previously reported. However, it is still difficult to simultaneously achieve high stretchability, high conductivity, and self-healability. Here, we observed an intriguing phenomenon, termed "electrical self-boosting", which enables reconstructing of electrically percolative pathways in an ultrastretchable and self-healable nanocomposite conductor (over 1700% strain). The autonomously reconstructed percolative pathways were directly verified by using microcomputed tomography and in situ scanning electron microscopy. The encapsulated nanocomposite conductor shows exceptional conductivity (average value: 2578 S cm-1; highest value: 3086 S cm-1) at 3500% tensile strain by virtue of efficient strain energy dissipation of the self-healing polymer and self-alignment and rearrangement of silver flakes surrounded by spontaneously formed silver nanoparticles and their self-assembly in the strained self-healing polymer matrix. In addition, the conductor maintains high conductivity and stretchability even after recovered from a complete cut. Besides, a design of double-layered conductor enabled by the self-bonding assembly allowed a conducting interface to be located on the neutral mechanical plane, showing extremely durable operations in a cyclic stretching test. Finally, we successfully demonstrated that electromyogram signals can be monitored by our self-healable interconnects. Such information was transmitted to a prosthetic robot to control various hand motions for robust interactive human-robot interfaces.

KEYWORDS:

electrical self-boosting; human-robot interfaces; nanocomposite conductor; self-healability; ultrastretchability

PMID:
31072094
DOI:
10.1021/acsnano.9b00160

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