Recent approaches in self-healable electrodes use polymers with exhibiting significantly low electrical conductivity, compared to conventional metals. Such self-healable electrodes also require external stimuli to initiate self-healing, or present slow restoration for their intrinsic healing. Herein, we introduce an instantaneous and repeatable self-healing of highly conductive, fully metallic electrodes at ambient conditions. These electrodes consist of silver and liquid metal (with no polymer), and exhibit a sufficiently high conductivity of 2 S/μm. The liquid metal (LM) component enables instantaneous and repeatable self-healing of these electrodes (within a few milliseconds) under no external energy as well as high stretchability. Additionally, the inclusion of silver in this LM improves the mechanical strength of this composite, thereby overcoming the limitation of a pristine LM that has low mechanical strength. Moreover, this composite formation can be effective in preventing the penetration of gallium atoms into different metals, while preserving electrical contact properties. Also the self-healable nature of electrodes enables their outstanding sustainability against electrical breakdown at relatively high electric fields. Furthermore, the compatibility of these self-healable electrodes with conventional photolithography and wet etching facilitates high-resolution patterning for device fabrications, as demonstrated in an example with a self-healable organic light-emitting diode display.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)