High conductivity and stretchability of 3D welded silver nanowire filled graphene aerogel hybrid nanocomposites
Many studies have investigated stretchable conductors, fabricated from silver nanowire (AgNW)-containing nanocomposites, due to their outstanding electrical properties and high-aspect-ratio structures. To retain good conductivity with a high degree of elongation, nanocomposites used as stretchable conductors should maintain a well-connected electrical network with a low mass fraction of AgNWs. A three-dimensional (3D) graphene aerogel (GA) frame provides an excellent scaffold for conductive networks consisting of AgNWs. This research describes, for the first time, the synthesis of a new type of nanostructure, AgNW/GA, formed by coating 3D GA frames with AgNWs. AgNW/GA/polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) nanocomposites exhibited high electrical conductivity (∼40 S cm−1) and stable conductivity retention at up to 60% elongation. In addition, the electrical properties of the AgNW/GA/PDMS nanocomposites could be further enhanced by structural changes in the GA induced by optical welding.