Highly stretchable and durable conductors are significant to the development of wearable devices, robots, human–machine interfaces, and other artificial intelligence products. Although many respectable methods have been reported, it is still a challenge to fabricate stretchable conductors with a large elastic limit, high conductivity, and excellent reliability in rapid, effective, and economic ways. Herein, a facile method is offered to fabricate high-performance stretchable tubular conductors (TCs) based on a macroconfined structure of expanded graphite (EG) in rubber tubing by simply physical packing. The maximum original electrical conductivity of TCs reached a high value of 160.6 S/cm. Meanwhile, TCs showed more insensitive response of conductivity to increasing tensile strain compared to the TCs encapsulated with liquid metal or ionic liquid. The conductivity and effective stretchability of TCs can be adjusted by varying the packing density of EG. A low gauge factor below 3 was reached even under 400% stretching for TCs with a packing density of 1.233 g/cm3. The excellent resilience and good stability of conductivity of TCs during dynamic stretching–releasing cycles are attributed to the stable and rapid reconstruction of the percolation network of EG particles. The combination of high conductivity, tunable stretchability, and good reliability renders potential applications to TCs, such as highly stretchable interconnects or strain sensors, in human motion detection.
Luo, W., Wu, T., Chen, B., Liang, M., & Zou, H. (2017). Highly Stretchable Conductors Based on Expanded Graphite Macroconfined in Tubular Rubber. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 43239−43249. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b08866