Advanced Printing Transfer of Assembled Silver Nanowire Network into Elastomer for Constructing Stretchable Conductors

Advanced Engineering Materials 2023 Volume 25, Issue 19, Article 2300675

Excellent electrical performance of assemblies of 1D silver nanowires (AgNWs) has been demonstrated in the past years. Up to now, however, there are limited approaches to realize simultaneously deterministic assembly with dense arrangement of AgNWs and desired functional layouts. Herein, an assembly strategy from compressed air-modulated alignment of AgNWs to heterogeneous integration of stretchable sensing devices through printing transfer is proposed. In this process, a convective flow induced by compressed air brings the AgNWs to the air–droplet interface, where the AgNWs are assembled with excellent alignment and packing due to the surface flow, van der Waals, and capillary interactions. Compared with those random AgNWs networks, the oriented, densely packed AgNWs exhibit a lower and uniform electrical sheet resistance. To incorporate the AgNWs to an elastomer substrate, direct ink writing is employed to transfer the assembled AgNW network to the printed silicone elastomer with desirable patterns. Excellent electrical property is demonstrated including a wide electrical response range from 10% to 120% strain, and high electrical repeatability. An antibacterial property is confirmed, notifying additional benefit as wearable sensors. The printing transfer of preassembled AgNW networks to the printed elastomer patterns provides a facile strategy to construct stretchable electronic devices.