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Rational design of a printable, highly conductive silicone-based electrically conductive adhesive for stretchable radio-frequency antennas

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-470
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Stretchable radio-frequency electronics are gaining popularity as a result of the increased functionality they gain through their flexible nature, impossible within the confines of rigid and planar substrates. One approach to fabricating stretchable antennas is to embed stretchable or flowable conductive materials, such as conductive polymers, conductive polymer composites, and liquid metal alloys as stretchable conduction lines. However, these conductive materials face many challenges, such as low electrical conductivity under mechanical deformation and delamination from substrates. In the present study, a silicone-based electrically conductive adhesive (silo-ECA) is developed that have a conductivity of 1.51×104 S cm -1 and can maintain conductivity above 1.11×103 S cm-1 , even at a large stain of 240%. By using the stretchable silo- ECAs as a conductor pattern and pure silicone elastomers as a base substrate, stretchable antennas can be fabricated by stencil printing or soft-lithography. The resulting antenna's resonant frequency is tunable over a wide range by mechanical modulation. This fabrication method is low-cost, can support large-scale production, has high reliability over a wide temperature range, and eliminates the concerns of leaking or delamination between conductor and substrate experienced in previously reported micro-fluidic antennas.