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One-Step Fabrication of Stretchable Copper Nanowire Conductors by a Fast Photonic Sintering Technique and Its Application in Wearable Devices

Ding, Su, Jiu, Jinting, Gao, Yue, Tian, Yanhong, Araki, Teppei, Sugahara, Tohru, Nagao, Shijo, Nogi, Masaya, Koga, Hirotaka, Suganuma, Katsuaki, Uchida, Hiroshi
ACS applied materials 2016 v.8 no.9 pp. 6190-6199
adhesion, air, ambient temperature, clothing, electronic equipment, electronics, nanowires, photonics, polyurethanes, prices, transmittance
Copper nanowire (CuNW) conductors have been considered to have a promising perspective in the area of stretchable electronics due to the low price and high conductivity. However, the fabrication of CuNW conductors suffers from harsh conditions, such as high temperature, reducing atmosphere, and time-consuming transfer step. Here, a simple and rapid one-step photonic sintering technique was developed to fabricate stretchable CuNW conductors on polyurethane (PU) at room temperature in air environment. It was observed that CuNWs were instantaneously deoxidized, welded and simultaneously embedded into the soft surface of PU through the one-step photonic sintering technique, after which highly conductive network and strong adhesion between CuNWs and PU substrates were achieved. The CuNW/PU conductor with sheet resistance of 22.1 Ohm/sq and transmittance of 78% was achieved by the one-step photonic sintering technique within only 20 μs in air. Besides, the CuNW/PU conductor could remain a low sheet resistance even after 1000 cycles of stretching/releasing under 10% strain. Two flexible electronic devices, wearable sensor and glove-shaped heater, were fabricated using the stretchable CuNW/PU conductor, demonstrating that our CuNW/PU conductor could be integrated into various wearable electronic devices for applications in food, clothes, and medical supplies fields.