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Keywords:

  • carbon nanotubes;
  • stretchable conductors;
  • poly(dimethylsiloxane);
  • transparent materials

Abstract

Free-standing, hierarchical reticulate single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films are embedded in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) to fabricate stretchable conductors (SWCNT/PDMS stretchable conductors). The stretchable conductors are highly transparent in visible light region and retain excellent conductance under large tensile strains. Strain tests reveal a unique strain-history dependence behavior of the resistance, and resistance stabilization is achieved upon repetitive stretching and releasing, implying that the SWCNT/PDMS stretchable conductors can be programmed to be reversibly stretched to a defined strain without resistance changes. A quantitative description of the increase in resistance is determined by adopting the Weibull distribution. Moreover, a light-emitting diode is illuminated using a repetitively stretched SWCNT/PDMS strip as the connecting wire, demonstrating the utility of the stretchable conductors as interconnects for stretchable electronics. Because of the high transparency, high conductivity, and excellent stretchability, in addition to the facile fabrication, the SWCNT/PDMS stretchable conductors might be widely used as interconnects and electrodes for stretchable intelligent and functional devices.