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Standing Enokitake-like Nanowire Films for Highly Stretchable Elastronics

Penelitian - Monash University team show standing enokitake-like gold-nanowire-based films chemically bonded to an elastomer can be stretched up to 900% and are highly durable, with more than 93% conductivity recovery even after 2000 stretching cycles to 800% strain.

Electronics are transitioning from the current rigid version to a next-generation flexible design, which will ultimately evolve into stretchable electronics. In an elastronic system, its components can be seamlessly integrated with skin to become parts of our organs, thereby enabling genuine biodiagnostics in real time and in situ.

Penelitian Standing Enokitake-like Nanowire Films for Highly Stretchable Elastronics

It is well-known that elastronics require a seamless combination of stretchability and electrical conductivity, which can be achieved extrinsically or intrinsically. The former is achieved by designing structures that stretch, whereas the latter is realized by producing materials that are deformable.

An ideal elastronic system may be made from intrinsically elastic components, including conductors, resistors, diodes, transistors, and sensors, so that they can integrate with modulus-matching skin, ideal for wearable/implantable diagnostics with true capability of health monitoring anytime and anywhere.

A viable strategy is to deposit active nanomaterials onto or embed them into elastomers. Among them, one-dimensional nanomaterials are particularly promising as they can be used to construct percolation networks onto or into elastomeric matrices.

Two-dimensional (2D) percolation nanowire-based thin films have demonstrated a wide range of applications in wearable electronic skin (e-skin) sensors, soft energy devices, organic light-emitting diodes, memory devices, PM 2.5 filters, soft robotics, and transparent electronics.

Despite this encouraging progress, delamination or cracks at the soft/rigid materials’ interface often occur under large or repeated strains due to mismatching moduli between active rigid materials and soft elastomeric matrixes. This limits the stretchability and long-term durability of current systems, preventing them from being used in real-world applications.

Wenlong Cheng of the Monash University an team show that standing enokitake-like gold nanowire films chemically bonded to elastomeric materials can exhibit stretchability much higher than that of conventional vacuum-evaporated bulk metal or percolating nanowire films, without any additional extrinsic buckling design.

“We demonstrate specifically here that they can be applied to fabricate intrinsically stretchable supercapacitors and can be used as “second-skin” facial expression recognition mask sensors,” Cheng said.

This was achieved because of standing enokitake-like nanowire structures and their strong adhesion with elastomers, leading to distinct stretching behaviors. Researchers created standing enokitake-like nanowire gold films instead show tiny “V-shaped” cracks that are able to recover the conductivity when strain is removed.

The formation of V-shaped cracks is due to hierarchical structures of the nanowire film, in which the top nanoparticle layer is mechanically more rigid than the underlying nanowire layer. This leads to initial cracking that starts from the top particle layer under low level of strains.

Journal : Yan Wang et al. Standing Enokitake-like Nanowire Films for Highly Stretchable Elastronics, ACS Nano, September 18, 2018, DOI:10.1021/acsnano.8b05019



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