Indexed on: 01 Jun '19Published on: 31 May '19Published in: Scientific Reports
Inkjet-printed wearable electronic textiles (e-textiles) are considered to be very promising due to excellent processing and environmental benefits offered by digital fabrication technique. Inkjet-printing of conductive metallic inks such as silver (Ag) nanoparticles (NPs) are well-established and that of graphene-based inks is of great interest due to multi-functional properties of graphene. However, poor ink stability at higher graphene concentration and the cost associated with the higher Ag loading in metal inks have limited their wider use. Moreover, graphene-based e-textiles reported so far are mainly based on graphene derivatives such as graphene oxide (GO) or reduced graphene oxide (rGO), which suffers from poor electrical conductivity. Here we report inkjet printing of highly conductive and cost-effective graphene-Ag composite ink for wearable e-textiles applications. The composite inks were formulated, characterised and inkjet-printed onto PEL paper first and then sintered at 150 °C for 1 hr. The sheet resistance of the printed patterns is found to be in the range of ~0.08-4.74 Ω/sq depending on the number of print layers and the graphene-Ag ratio in the formulation. The optimised composite ink was then successfully printed onto surface pre-treated (by inkjet printing) cotton fabrics in order to produce all-inkjet-printed highly conductive and cost-effective electronic textiles.