Nanomaterial-enabled stretchable conductors: strategies, materials and devices.Adv Mater 2015; 27(9):1480-511AM
Stretchable electronics are attracting intensive attention due to their promising applications in many areas where electronic devices undergo large deformation and/or form intimate contact with curvilinear surfaces. On the other hand, a plethora of nanomaterials with outstanding properties have emerged over the past decades. The understanding of nanoscale phenomena, materials, and devices has progressed to a point where substantial strides in nanomaterial-enabled applications become realistic. This review summarizes recent advances in one such application, nanomaterial-enabled stretchable conductors (one of the most important components for stretchable electronics) and related stretchable devices (e.g., capacitive sensors, supercapacitors and electroactive polymer actuators), over the past five years. Focusing on bottom-up synthesized carbon nanomaterials (e.g., carbon nanotubes and graphene) and metal nanomaterials (e.g., metal nanowires and nanoparticles), this review provides fundamental insights into the strategies for developing nanomaterial-enabled highly conductive and stretchable conductors. Finally, some of the challenges and important directions in the area of nanomaterial-enabled stretchable conductors and devices are discussed.