Highly conductive, printable and stretchable composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver

Nat Nanotechnol. 2010 Dec;5(12):853-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2010.232. Epub 2010 Nov 28.


Conductive films that are both stretchable and flexible could have applications in electronic devices, sensors, actuators and speakers. A substantial amount of research has been carried out on conductive polymer composites, metal electrode-integrated rubber substrates and materials based on carbon nanotubes and graphene. Here we present highly conductive, printable and stretchable hybrid composites composed of micrometre-sized silver flakes and multiwalled carbon nanotubes decorated with self-assembled silver nanoparticles. The nanotubes were used as one-dimensional, flexible and conductive scaffolds to construct effective electrical networks among the silver flakes. The nanocomposites, which included polyvinylidenefluoride copolymer, were created with a hot-rolling technique, and the maximum conductivities of the hybrid silver-nanotube composites were 5,710 S cm⁻¹ at 0% strain and 20 S cm⁻¹ at 140% strain, at which point the film ruptured. Three-dimensional percolation theory reveals that Poisson's ratio for the composite is a key parameter in determining how the conductivity changes upon stretching.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't