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Open AccessArticle

Mechanically Enhanced Electrical Conductivity of Polydimethylsiloxane-Based Composites by a Hot Embossing Process

1
College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Organic-Inorganic Composites, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
3
International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM), WMG, University of Warwick, Warwich CV4 7AL, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010056
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
Electrically conductive polymer composites are in high demand for modern technologies, however, the intrinsic brittleness of conducting conjugated polymers and the moderate electrical conductivity of engineering polymer/carbon composites have highly constrained their applications. In this work, super high electrical conductive polymer composites were produced by a novel hot embossing design. The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composites containing short carbon fiber (SCF) exhibited an electrical percolation threshold at 0.45 wt % and reached a saturated electrical conductivity of 49 S/m at 8 wt % of SCF. When reducing the sample thickness from 1.0 to 0.1 mm by the hot embossing process, a compression-induced percolation threshold occurred at 0.3 wt %, while the electrical conductivity was further enhanced to 378 S/m at 8 wt % SCF. Furthermore, the addition of a second nanofiller of 1 wt %, such as carbon nanotube or conducting carbon black, further increased the electrical conductivity of the PDMS/SCF (8 wt %) composites to 909 S/m and 657 S/m, respectively. The synergy of the densified conducting filler network by the mechanical compression and the hierarchical micro-/nano-scale filler approach has realized super high electrically conductive, yet mechanically flexible, polymer composites for modern flexible electronics applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrical conducting network; forced assembly; compression-induced percolation threshold; hybrid filler; synergy electrical conducting network; forced assembly; compression-induced percolation threshold; hybrid filler; synergy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gao, X.; Huang, Y.; He, X.; Fan, X.; Liu, Y.; Xu, H.; Wu, D.; Wan, C. Mechanically Enhanced Electrical Conductivity of Polydimethylsiloxane-Based Composites by a Hot Embossing Process. Polymers 2019, 11, 56.

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