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Electrical Characterization of Traditional and Aerosol Jet Printed Conductors Under Tensile Strain

  • Jake Rabinowitz (a1) (a2), Gregory Fritz (a1), Parshant Kumar (a1), Peter Lewis (a1), Mikel Miller (a1), Andrew Dineen (a1) and Caprice Gray (a1)...


In this work, we propose a model to quantify strain induced conductor discontinuities based on measuring electrical resistance while applying tensile strain to metal-polymer systems. Under strain, changing conductor geometry and induced conductor discontinuity increase electrical resistance. On Kapton substrates strained to ε = .07, evaporated gold films did not deform and resistance increase was only caused by geometry change. Conversely, discontinuity caused 31% and 72% of the resistance increase in evaporated and printed silver films at the same strain. On PDMS substrates, the same magnitude of discontinuity, causing 31% of the resistance increase, occurred at only ε = .024 in evaporated silver films. At the same strain, discontinuity caused 86% of the resistance increase in evaporated gold films. Printed silver films were inelastic. The results suggest that traditional fabrication techniques may be more suitable to flexible hybrid electronics applications than additively manufactured conductors.


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