Materials 2021, 14(15), 4122
A new era of composite organic materials, nanomaterials, and printed electronics is emerging to the applications of thermoelectric generators (TEGs). Special attention is focused on carbon nanomaterials and conducting polymers, and the possibility to form pastes and inks for various low-cost deposition techniques. In this work, we present a novel approach to the processing of composite materials for screen-printing based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and polyaniline (PANI), supported with a dielectric polymer vehicle. Three different types of such tailor-made materials were prepared, with a functional phase consisted of carbon nanotubes and polyaniline composites fabricated with two methods: dry mixing of PANI CNT powders and in situ polymerisation of PANI with CNT. These materials were printed on flexible polymer substrates, exhibiting outstanding mechanical properties. The best parameters obtained for elaborated materials were σ=405.45 S⋅m−1, S=15.4 μV⋅K−1, and PF=85.2 nW⋅m−1K−2, respectively.
Materials 2021, 14(14), 3850
Rapid development of additive manufacturing and new composites materials with unique properties are promising tools for fabricating structural electronics. However, according to the typical maximum resolution of additive manufacturing methods, there is no possibility to fabricate all electrical components with these techniques. One way to produce complex structural electronic circuits is to merge 3D-printed elements with standard electronic components. Here, different soldering and surface preparation methods before soldering are tested to find the optimal method for soldering typical electronic components on conductive, 3D-printed, composite substrates. To determine the optimal soldering condition, the contact angles of solder joints fabricated in different conditions were measured. Additionally, the mechanical strength of the joints was measured using the shear force test. The research shows a possibility of fabricating strong, conductive solder joints on composites substrates prepared by additive manufacturing. The results show that mechanical cleaning and using additional flux on the composite substrates are necessary to obtain high-quality solder joints. The most repeatable joints with the highest shear strength values were obtained using reflow soldering together with low-temperature SnBiAg solder alloy. A fabricated demonstrator is a sample of the successful merging of 3D-printed structural electronics with standard electronic components.
Sensors 2021, 21(12), 4038
Due to the appearance of smart textiles and wearable electronics, the need for electro-conductive textiles and electro-conductive paths on textiles has become clear. In this article the results of a test of developed textile electro-conductive paths obtained by applying the method of screen printing pastes containing silver nanoparticles and carbon (graphene, nanotubes, graphite) are presented. Conducted research included analysis of the adhesion test, as well as evaluation of the surface resistance before and after the washing and bending cycles. Obtained results indicated that the samples with the content of carbon nanotubes 3% by weight in PMMA on substrate made of aramid fibers (surface mass of 260 g/m2) were characterized by the best adhesion and the best resistance to washing and bending cycles. Such electro-conductive paths have potential to be used in smart clothing applications.
Applied Sciences 2021, 11(3), 1272S
In this publication, we describe the process of fabrication and the analysis of the properties of nanocomposite filaments based on carbon nanotubes and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) polymer for fused deposition modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing. Polymer granulate was mixed and extruded with a filling fraction of 0.99, 1.96, 4.76, 9.09 wt.% of CNTs (carbon nanotubes) to fabricate composite filaments with a diameter of 1.75 mm. Detailed mechanical and electrical investigations of printed test samples were performed. The results demonstrate that CNT content has a significant influence on mechanical properties and electrical conductivity of printed samples. Printed samples obtained from high CNT content composites exhibited an improvement in the tensile strength by 12.6 %. Measurements of nanocomposites’ electrical properties exhibited non-linear relation between the supply voltage and measured sample resistivity. This effect can be attributed to the semiconductor nature of the CNT functional phase and the occurrence of a tunnelling effect in percolation network. Detailed I–V characteristics related to the amount of CNTs in the composite and the supply voltage influence are also presented. At a constant voltage value, the average resistivity of the printed elements is 2.5 Ωm for 4.76 wt.% CNT and 0.15 Ωm for 9.09 wt.% CNT, respectively. These results demonstrate that ABS/CNT composites are a promising functional material for FDM additive fabrication of structural elements, but also structural electronics and sensors.
Advanced Engineering Materials 2021, 23(4), 2001085.
Additive manufacturing is more widely used these days in aerospace, power industry, and automotive. The latest reports indicate that electronics can be produced with this technique. This approach requires the development of new materials for the fabrication of conductive metallic layers on polymers. Herein, a hybrid technique based on fused deposition modeling, direct‐write, and selective laser sintering is demonstrated, for the fabrication of structural electronics. Highly conductive paths are obtained with conductivity values up to 3.2·106 S m−1 in a single printing and sintering additive process. The influence of process parameters is evaluated with several 3D printed polymer substrates affecting the electrical conductivity of the printed conductive paths and circuits. The developed hybrid technique allows performing selective thermal sintering of metallic pastes on polymer substrates exhibiting the value of melting temperatures much lower than the sintering temperature of the silver paste. This phenomenon can be explained with the proposed hypothesis that the activation energy of the sintering process of metallic paste and degradation of polymer substrate plays a key role in obtaining functional conductive metallic paths on polymer substrates. Application of the developed process is demonstrated with a simple human interface device and a circuit with light‐emitting diodes and power source.
Scientific Reports 10, 16833 (2020)
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) embedded polymers are of increasing interest to scientific and industrial communities for multi-functional applications. In this article, CNTs have been introduced to high-strength epoxy adhesive for enabling in-situ strain sensing in adhesively bonded aluminium-to-aluminium single-lap joints to accurately indicate the onset and propagation of adhesion failure to the evolution of piezo-resistivity in varying mechanical loads. The CNT modified adhesive in bonded joints and the CNT modified adhesive alone have been tested under monothonic and cyclic tensile loads up to ultimate failure. The changes in the piezo-resistivity induced by the CNTs have been monitored in situ with respect to loading. A novel interpretation method has been developed for progressive, instantaneous adhesion failure estimation under cyclic tensile stresses from a resistivity baseline. The method indicates that the in-situ resistivity changes and the rate of the changes with strain, i.e. sensitivity, strongly correlate with the adhesion failure progression, irrespective of the CNT dispersion quality. Moreover, the effect of bond thickness on the evolution of piezo-resistivity and adhesion failure have been studied. It was observed that relatively thin adhesive bonds (0.18 mm thickness), possessing higher CNT contact points than thick bonds (0.43 mm thickness), provide 100 times higher sensitivity to varying cyclic loads.
… although it is not the end.
“The execution of an idea is boring, boring affair. It’s a society that forces you to finish things because from the society angle you must do everything correctly. I was against anything correct.” – Marcel Duchamp
Electronic Materials Letters (2020).
Gas sensors are widely used in many industrial and home applications. There is therefore continued need to develop novel gas sensor substrates which provide good mechanical and electrical stability, and good flexibility in comparison with the conventional alumina and silicon-based materials. In this paper, we present the experimental results on flexible gas sensors based on the Kapton foil and alumina substrate covered by copper oxide as a gas-sensitive layer. These sensors exhibited good mechanical stability and gas-sensing characteristics. The Kapton-based CuO gas sensors were tested under exposure to acetone in the 0.05–1.25 ppm range (150 °C, 50%RH). The results confirmed that sensors deposited on the flexible substrate such as Kapton can be used in the exhaled breath analyzers dedicated to diabetes biomarker detection or other applications for which the elastic substrate is needed.
And it finally happened! After several months of a life-changing experience with the preparation of the idea that I want to dedicate a large part of my future life, I submitted ERC Consolidator Grant proposal. It is in line with the FNP strategy promoting PIs submitting ERC proposals – fingers crossed for the successful extension of the First Team realisation time.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1287
The following paper presents a simple, inexpensive and scalable method of production of carbon nanotube-polyurethane elastomer composite. The new method enables the formation of fibers with 40% w/w of nanotubes in a polymer. Thanks to the 8 times higher content of nanotubes than previously reported for such composites, over an order of magnitude higher electrical conductivity is also observed. The composite fibers are highly elastic and both their electrical and mechanical properties may be easily controlled by changing the nanotubes content in the composite. It is shown that these composite fibers may be easily integrated with traditional textiles by sewing or ironing. However, taking into account their light-weight, high conductivity, flexibility and easiness of molding it may be expected that their potential applications are not limited to the smart textiles industry.