Materials Science

Conductive SWCNT/PDMS bottlebrush elastomers for ultrasoft electronics

Authors

  • Pengfei Xu Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto ,
  • Shaojia Wang Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto ,
  • Angela Lin Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto ,
  • Hyun-Kee Min Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children & Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children & Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto ,
  • Zhanfeng Zhou Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto ,
  • Xi Huang Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children & Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto & Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto ,
  • Helen Tran Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto & Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto ,
  • Xinyu Liu Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto & Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

Abstract

Understanding biological systems and mimicking their functions require electronic tools that can interact with biological tissues with matched softness. Conductive materials that match the softness of biological tissue are thus highly demanded for the construction of ultrasoft electronics. However, the commonly employed intrinsically stretchable materials usually contain solvents that limit stability for long-term use or possess low electronic conductivity. Additionally, integrating such ultrasoft and conductive materials into electronic devices is poorly explored. This article reports a solvent-free, ultrasoft and conductive PDMS bottlebrush elastomer composite with single-wall carbon nanotubes as conductive fillers. The conductive SWCNT/BBE with a filler concentration of 0.4−0.6 wt % reveals an ultralow Young’s modulus (<11 kPa) and satisfactory conductivity (>2 S/m) as well as strong wet-adhesion property. Furthermore, we fabricate ultrasoft electronics based on laser cutting and 3D printing of conductive and non-conductive BBEs and demonstrate their potential applications in wearable sensing, soft robotics, and electrophysiological recording.

Content

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Supplementary material

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Conductive SWCNT/PDMS bottlebrush elastomers for ultrasoft electronics
Supplementary Materials for "Conductive SWCNT/PDMS bottlebrush elastomers for ultrasoft electronics".