Electrohydrodynamic printing of silver nanowires for flexible and stretchable electronics†
A silver nanowire (AgNW) based conductor is a promising component for flexible and stretchable electronics. A wide range of flexible/stretchable devices using AgNW conductors has been demonstrated recently. High-resolution, high-throughput printing of AgNWs remains a critical challenge. Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) printing has been developed as a promising technique to print different materials on a variety of substrates with high resolution. Here, AgNW ink was developed for EHD printing. The printed features can be controlled by several parameters including AgNW concentration, ink viscosity, printing speed, stand-off distance, etc. With this method, AgNW patterns can be printed on a range of substrates, e.g. paper, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), glass, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), etc. First, AgNW samples on PDMS were characterized under bending and stretching. Then AgNW heaters and electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes were fabricated to demonstrate the potential of this printing technique for AgNW-based flexible and stretchable devices.