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research-article

Laser-based Fabrication of Carbon Nanotube - Silver Composites with Enhanced Fatigue Performance onto a Flexible Substrate

[+] Author and Article Information
Zheng Kang

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 585 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
kang214@purdue.edu

Benxin Wu

Associate Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 585 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
wu65@purdue.edu

Ruoxing Wang

School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, 315 N. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
wang2990@purdue.edu

Wenzhuo Wu

School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, 315 N. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
wenzhuowu@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039492 History: Received September 30, 2017; Revised February 10, 2018

Abstract

Flexible electronic devices involve electronic circuits fabricated onto a flexible (e.g., polymer) substrate, and they have many important applications. However, during their use, they often need to go through repeated deformations (such as bending). This may generate cracks in metallic components that often exist in a flexible electronic device, and could obviously affect the device durability and reliability. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have a potential to enhance the metal fatigue properties. However, previous work on the fabrication of CNT-metal composites onto a flexible substrate has been limited. This paper reports the research work on a novel laser-based approach to fabricate CNT-metal composites onto a flexible substrate, where mixtures containing CNTs and metal (silver) nanoparticles are deposited onto the substrate through a dispensing device and then laser-sintered into CNT-metal composites. Under the studied conditions and for the tested samples it has been found that overall the addition of CNTs has significantly enhanced the bending fatigue properties of the laser-sintered material without degrading the material electrical conductivity (which has actually been slightly increased). The laser-based approach has several potential advantages, such as the local, precise and flexible production of CNT-metal composite patterns with small or little thermal effects to the flexible substrate and other surrounding regions, and without using a mask or vacuum. Future work is certainly still needed on this novel fabrication process.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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