Conductance-Stable Liquid Metal Sheath-Core Microfibers for Stretchy Smart Fabrics and Self-Powered Sensing
Lijing Zheng, Miaomiao Zhu, Baohu Wu, Zhaoling Li, Shengtong Sun*, and Peiyi Wu*. Conductance-Stable Liquid Metal Sheath-Core Microfibers for Stretchy Smart Fabrics and Self-Powered Sensing. Sci. Adv. 2021, 7, eabg4041.
Highly conductive and stretchy fibers are crucial components for smart fabrics and wearable electronics. However, most of the existing fiber conductors are strain sensitive with deteriorated conductance upon stretching, and thus, a compromised strategy via introducing merely geometric distortion of conductive path is often used for stable conductance. Here, we report a coaxial wet-spinning process for continuously fabricating intrinsically stretchable, highly conductive yet conductance-stable, liquid metal sheath-core microfibers. The microfiber can be stretched up to 1170%, and upon fully activating the conductive path, a very high conductivity of 4.35 × 104 S/m and resistance change of only 4% at 200% strain are realized, arising from both stretch-induced channel opening and stretching out of tortuous serpentine conductive path of the percolating liquid metal network. Moreover, the microfibers can be easily woven into an everyday glove or fabric, acting as excellent joule heaters, electrothermochromic displays, and self-powered wearable sensors to monitor human activities.