3D Highly Stretchable Liquid Metal/Elastomer Composites with Strain-Enhanced Conductivity

Ruyue Fang, Bin Yao, Tianwu Chen, Xinwei Xu, Dingchuan Xue, Wei Hong, Hong Wang, Qing Wang, Sulin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Current stretchable conductors, often composed of elastomeric composites infused with rigid conductive fillers, suffer from limited stretchability and durability, and declined conductivity with stretching. These limitations hinder their potential applications as essential components such as interconnects, sensors, and actuators in stretchable electronics and soft machines. In this context, an innovative elastomeric composite that incorporates a 3D network of liquid metal (LM), offering exceptional stretchability, durability, and conductivity, is introduced. The mechanics model elucidates how the interconnected 3DLM architecture imparts softness and stretchability to the composites, allowing them to withstand tensile strains of up to 500% without rupture. The relatively low surface-to-volume ratio of the 3DLM network limits the reforming of the oxide layer during cyclic stretch, thereby contributing to low permanent strain and enhanced durability. Additionally, the 3D architecture facilitates crack blunting and stress delocalization, elevating fracture resistance, while simultaneously establishing continuous conductive pathways that result in high conductivity. Notably, the conductivity of the 3DLM composite increases with strain during substantial stretching, highlighting its strain-enhanced conductivity. In comparison to other LM-based composites featuring 0D LM droplets, the 3DLM composite stands out with superior properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry

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