Various wearable electronic devices have been developed for extensive outdoor activities. The key metrics for these wearable devices are high touch sensitivity and good mechanical and thermal stability of the flexible touchscreen panels (TSPs). Their dielectric constants (k) are important for high touch sensitivities. Thus, studies on flexible and transparent cover layers that have high k with outstanding mechanical and thermal reliabilities are essential. Herein, an unconventional approach for forming flexible and transparent cellulose nanofiber (CNF) films is reported. These films are used to embed ultralong metal nanofibers that serve as nanofillers to increase k significantly (above 9.2 with high transmittance of 90%). Also, by controlling the dimensions and aspect ratios of these fillers, the effects of their nanostructures and contents on the optical and dielectric properties of the films have been studied. The length of the nanofibers can be controlled using a stretching method to break the highly aligned, ultralong nanofibers. These nanofiber-embedded, high-k films are mechanically and thermally stable, and they have better Young's modulus and tensile strength with lower thermal expansion than commercial transparent plastics. The demonstration of highly sensitive TSPs using high-k CNF film for smartphones suggests that this film has significant potential for next-generation, portable electronic devices.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea through the National Research Foundation (2016R1A2B3013592 and 2016R1A5A1009926), the Technology Innovation Program (Grant 10044410), the Nano Material Technology Development Program (2015M3A7B4050308 and 2016M3A7B4910635), the Convergence Technology Development Program for Bionic Arm (NRF-2014M3C1B2048198), the Pioneer Research Center Program (NRF-2014M3C1A3001208), and the Human Resource Training Program for Regional Innovation and Creativity (NRF-2014H1C1A1073051). Also, the authors are grateful to LG Electronics and for the financial support by the Development Program of Manufacturing Technology for Flexible Electronics with High Performance (SC0970) funded by the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, and by the Development Program of Internet of Nature System (1.150090.01) funded by UNIST.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering