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Current Trends in Polymer Science   Volumes    Volume 20 
Electrically conductive and flexible polymer films as substrates and power transmitter for wearable electronics
Martin Heise, Kristin Trommer, Minoj Gnanaseelan, Iris Vela-Wallenschus, Adrian Mahlkow
Pages: 95 - 105
Number of pages: 11
Current Trends in Polymer Science
Volume 20 

Copyright © 2020 Research Trends. All rights reserved

In this study conductive and flexible polymer films based on waterborne polyurethane (PU) dispersions were used as intrinsic series resistor, substrate, and power transmitter for electronic components. By addition of multi-walled carbon-nanotubes (MW-CNT) into the PU-dispersions using a roll milling process, electrical conductive polymer films with conductivities between 10–6 and 200 S/m were obtained. The films can be supplied with DC power by application of two parallel, linear, and flexible electrodes via a screen printing process using polyurethane dispersions added with silver micron particles. Between the two electrodes an electric field was created by connecting a DC power supply to the printed electrodes. The electrical properties of the conductive films were determined. In finite element method (FEM) simulations, the electric field area was investigated. Crucially, the effect of placing electronic components into the electric field was considered. The main feature of these prepared conductive polymer films is that no more direct contacting of electronic components (e.g. by wiring) is needed but the electric field can be tapped over a large area (several square-centimetres up to square-meters possible) on the polymer surface. For demonstrating the capabilities of the conductive polymeric films, surface-mount device light-emitting diode (SMD-LED) modules as simple electronic components were applied on the films. PU films with MW-CNT content of < 2 wt.-% showed sufficient electrical conductance for power transmission to SMD-LEDs. Flexible, active lighting textiles were manufactured by lamination of the LED-polymer composites with textiles.
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