Fabrication of a conductive composite structure with enhanced stretchability using direct-write 3D printing

High stretchability and mechanical stability are the key properties of a conductive polymer composite structure. In this work, an anisotropic composite is fabricated by wet 3D printing of epoxy crosslinked chitosan/carbon microtubes. The carbon microtubes were synthesized through a high temperature carbonization of chemically purified cellulose fibres. After the chemical treatment and high temperature carbonization, the removal amorphous substrates from the core of cotton fibres results in the formation of a tubular structure. Here, chitosan which is an abundant natural polymer was used as the composite matrix. It was found that the epoxy crosslinking increases the stretchability of composite filaments.