Surface-agnostic highly stretchable and bendable conductive MXene multilayers

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Science Advances  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 3, eaaq0118
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaq0118

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Stretchable, bendable, and foldable conductive coatings are crucial for wearable electronics and biometric sensors. These coatings should maintain functionality while simultaneously interfacing with different types of surfaces undergoing mechanical deformation. MXene sheets as conductive two-dimensional nanomaterials are promising for this purpose, but it is still extremely difficult to form surface-agnostic MXene coatings that can withstand extreme mechanical deformation. We report on conductive and conformal MXene multilayer coatings that can undergo large-scale mechanical deformation while maintaining a conductivity as high as 2000 S/m. MXene multilayers are successfully deposited onto flexible polymer sheets, stretchable poly(dimethylsiloxane), nylon fiber, glass, and silicon. The coating shows a recoverable resistance response to bending (up to 2.5-mm bending radius) and stretching (up to 40% tensile strain), which was leveraged for detecting human motion and topographical scanning. We anticipate that this discovery will allow for the implementation of MXene-based coatings onto mechanically deformable objects.

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