Foldable Conductive Cellulose Fiber Networks Modified by Graphene Nanoplatelet-Bio-Based Composites

P. Cataldi, I.S. Bayer, F. Bonaccorso, V. Pellegrini, A. Athanassiou, R. Cingolani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Truly foldable flexible electronic components require a foldable substrate modified with a conducting material that can retain its electrical conductivity and mechanical integrity even after hard mechanical manipulations and multiple folding events. Here, such a material exploiting the combination of all‐biodegradable components (substrate and the polymer matrix) and graphene nanoplatelets is designed and fabricated. A commercially available thermoplastic starch‐based polymer (Mater‐Bi) and graphene nanoplatelets are simultaneously dispersed in an organic solvent to formulate conductive inks. The inks are spray painted on pure cellulose sheets and hot‐pressed into their fiber network after drying. The resultant nanostructured flexible composites display excellent isotropic electrical conductivity, reaching very low sheet resistance value ≈10 Ω sq−1, depending on the relative concentration between the biopolymer and the graphene nanoplatelets. Transmission electron microscopy results indicated that during hot‐pressing, graphene nanoplatelets are physically embedded into the cellulose fibers, resulting in high electrical conductivity of the flexible composite. The paper‐like flexible conductors can withstand many severe folding events, maintaining their mechanical and electrical properties and showing only a slight decrease of their electrical conductivity with respect to the unfolded counterparts. Unlike conductive paper technologies, the proposed paper‐like flexible conductors demonstrate both sides isotropic conductivity due to pressure‐induced impregnation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1500224
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Electronic Materials
Volume1
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2015

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