• silver nanowire;
  • stretchable conductor;
  • buckling;
  • strain sensor
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A highly conductive and stretchable conductor with silver nanowires (AgNWs) embedded just below the surface of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) is fabricated. Stable conductivity of 5285 S cm−1 is achieved in a large range of tensile strain (0–50%) after a few cycles of stretching/releasing of the substrate. This stable electric response is due to buckling of the AgNW/PDMS thin layer, which is attributed to irreversible sliding of the AgNWs in the PDMS matrix. AgNWs can be printed to fabricate patterned stretchable conductors with feature size as small as 50 μm.