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Durham e-Theses
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Temperature Dependence and Touch Sensitivity of Electrical Transport in Novel Nanocomposite Printable Inks

WEBB, ALEXANDER,JAMES (2014) Temperature Dependence and Touch Sensitivity of Electrical Transport in Novel Nanocomposite Printable Inks. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Printed electronics is an established industry allowing the production of electronic components such as resistors, and more complex structures such as solar cells, from functional inks. Composites, a mixture of two or more materials with different physical and/or chemical properties that combine to create a new material with properties differing from its constituent parts, have been important in areas such as the textile and automotive industries, and are significant in printed electronics as inks for printed circuit components, touch and vapour sensors. Here, the functional performance and physical behaviour of two screen printable multi-component nanocomposite inks, formulated for touch-pressure sensing applications, are investigated. They each comprise a proprietary mixture of electrically conducting and insulating nanoparticles dispersed in an insulating polymer binder, where one is opaque and the other transparent. The opaque ink has a complex surface structure consisting of a homogeneous dispersion of nanoparticles. The transparent inks structure is characterised by large aggregates of nanoparticles distributed through the printed layer. Temperature dependent electrical transport measurements under a range of compressive loadings reveal similar non-linear behaviour in both inks, with some hysteresis observed, and this behaviour is linked to the inks structures. A physical model comprising a combination of linear and non-linear conduction contributions, with the linear term attributed to direct connections between conductive particles and the non-linear term attributed to field-assisted quantum tunnelling, has been developed and used successfully to describe the underpinning physical processes behind the unique electrical functionality of the opaque ink and, to a lesser extent, the transparent ink.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Nanocomposite, Printed Electronics, Touch Sensor, quantum tunnelling
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Physics, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Sep 2014 12:10

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