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Title: Reshapeable, rehealable and recyclable sensor fabricated by direct ink writing of conductive composites based on covalent adaptable network polymers

Covalent adaptable network (CAN) polymers doped with conductive nanoparticles are an ideal candidate to create reshapeable, rehealable, and fully recyclable electronics. On the other hand, 3D printing as a deterministic manufacturing method has a significant potential to fabricate electronics with low cost and high design freedom. In this paper, we incorporate a conductive composite consisting of polyimine CAN and multi-wall carbon nanotubes into direct-ink-writing 3D printing to create polymeric sensors with outstanding reshaping, repairing, and recycling capabilities. The developed printable ink exhibits good printability, conductivity, and recyclability. The conductivity of printed polyimine composites is investigated at different temperatures and deformation strain levels. Their shape-reforming and Joule heating-induced interfacial welding effects are demonstrated and characterized. Finally, a temperature sensor is 3D printed with defined patterns of conductive pathways, which can be easily mounted onto 3D surfaces, repaired after damage, and recycled using solvents. The sensing capability of printed sensors is maintained after the repairing and recycling. Overall, the 3D printed reshapeable, rehealable, and recyclable sensors possess complex geometry and extend service life, which assist in the development of polymer-based electronics toward broad and sustainable applications.

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International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing
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Article No. 015301
IOP Publishing
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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