Extrusion Printing of Flexible Electrically Conducting Carbon Nanotube Networks

Authors

  • Geoffrey C. Pidcock,

    1. Soft Materials Group, School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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  • Marc in het Panhuis

    Corresponding author
    1. Soft Materials Group, School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
    2. ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
    • Soft Materials Group, School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
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Abstract

Carbon nanotube networks in biopolymer solutions are explored as potential ink systems for the extrusion printing of conducting structures. The biopolymer gellan gum is found to act as an excellent dispersant of multiwalled carbon nanotubes and has the appropriate flow properties to act as a thickener for the controlled dispensing of carbon nanotube networks. Absorbing substrates are found to improve the resolution and the flexibility of the printed structures. These printed conducting carbon nanotube networks exhibit interesting mechanical and electrical characteristics, which are applied to demonstrate their actuating and strain gauging capabilities.

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