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Chair of Physical Chemistry 1, Prof. Dr. Markus Retsch

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Breathable and Flexible Polymer Membranes with Mechanoresponsive Electric Resistance

09.01.2020

Our newest paper in Advanced Functional Materials is now online as open access article. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adfm.201907555
This work is about sandwiching a network of silver nanowires (AgNWs) between two highly porous electrospun thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) membranes. The membranes are mechanically robust (both for bending and stretching) with a strong interface and large strain before breakage (more than 700%). The sheet resistance is as low as <0.1 (±0.01) Ω sq−1, and changed to only 1.6 (±0.43) Ω sq−1 upon stretching to 100% strain. The combination of polymer elasticity and the AgNW network structure provides a reversible change in resistance beyond 100% strain. A detailed thermographic analysis is employed to in situ image and characterize the AgNW network morphology during various stretched conditions. It is believed that this flexible, sandwich‐like, electrically conductive membrane is a good candidate for smart wearable devices and soft robots.
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