Stretchable, elastomeric composite conductor made of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) has been fabricated by simple mixing. Electrical percolation threshold, amount of filler at which a sharp decrease of resistance occurs, has been determined to be ~0.6. wt.% of MWNTs. The percolation threshold composition has also been confirmed from swelling experiments of the composite; the equilibrium swelling ratio slightly increases up to ~0.6. wt.%, then decreases at higher amount of filler MWNTs. Upon cyclic stretching/release of the composite, a fully reversible electrical behavior has been observed for composites having filler content below the percolation threshold value. On the other hand, hysteretic behavior was observed for higher filler amount than the threshold value, due to rearrangement of percolative paths upon the first cycle of stretching/release. Finally, mechanical moduli of the composites have been measured and compared by buckling and microtensile test. The buckling-based measurement has led to systematically higher (~20%) value of moduli than those from microtensile measurement, due to the internal microstructure of the composite. The elastic conductor may help the implementation of various stretchable electronic devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites