Highly Stretchable or Transparent Conductor Fabrication by a Hierarchical Multiscale Hybrid Nanocomposite



As is frequently seen in sci-fi movies, future electronics are expected to ultimately be in the form of wearable electronics. To realize wearable electronics, the electric components should be soft, flexible, and even stretchable to be human-friendly. An important step is presented toward realization of wearable electronics by developing a hierarchical multiscale hybrid nanocomposite for highly flexible, stretchable, or transparent conductors. The hybrid nanocomposite combines the enhanced mechanical compliance, electrical conductivity, and optical transparency of small CNTs (d ≈ 1.2 nm) and the enhanced electrical conductivity of relatively bigger Ag nanowire (d ≈ 150 nm) backbone to provide efficient multiscale electron transport path with Ag nanowire current backbone collector and local CNT percolation network. The highly elastic hybrid nanocomposite conductors and highly transparent flexible conductors can be mounted on any non-planar or soft surfaces to realize human-friendly electronics interface for future wearable electronics.