In this article, the electromechanical properties of silver-in-epoxy conductive adhesives with the polyaniline (PANI) micron particles as cofillers have been investigated. PANI is a conductive polymer and has a moderate conductivity in between those of silver and epoxy. It was found that PANI can be used to tailor both the adhesive's electrical contact resistance and its relaxation behavior; however, the effects of adding PANI were complex. The addition of small amount of PANI (2 wt %) dramatically increased the contact resistance; it might block the electrical contacts among silver flakes and was not able to form a continuous path among themselves. The addition of more PANI showed a moderate increase in contact resistance, which increased with the weight fraction of PANI from 6 to 15 wt %. Interdependent behavior of compressive strain and relaxation in electrical contact resistance is characterized to evaluate the origin of this relaxation. The addition of PANI made the relaxation in electrical contact resistance more sensitive to the compressive strain and the electromechanical coupling to deviate from the linear relationship. These research findings provide insights into the way to use PANI to tailor the electromechanical properties of the adhesive bonds or joints in the development of advanced functional devices. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2013, 51, 1448–1455
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