Fatigue-free, superstretchable, transparent, and biocompatible metal electrodes

Chuan Fei Guo, Qihan Liu, Guohui Wang, Yecheng Wang, Zhengzheng Shi, Zhigang Suo, Ching Wu Chu, Zhifeng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Next-generation flexible electronics require highly stretchable and transparent electrodes. Few electronic conductors are both transparent and stretchable, and even fewer can be cyclically stretched to a large strain without causing fatigue. Fatigue, which is often an issue of strained materials causing failure at low strain levels of cyclic loading, is detrimental to materials under repeated loads in practical applications. Here we show that optimizing topology and/or tuning adhesion of metal nanomeshes can significantly improve stretchability and eliminate strain fatigue. The ligaments in an Au nanomesh on a slippery substrate can locally shift to relax stress upon stretching and return to the original configuration when stress is removed. The Au nanomesh keeps a low sheet resistance and high transparency, comparable to those of strain-free indium tin oxide films, when the nanomesh is stretched to a strain of 300%, or shows no fatigue after 50,000 stretches to a strain up to 150%. Moreover, the Au nanomesh is biocompatible and penetrable to biomacromolecules in fluid. The superstretchable transparent conductors are highly desirable for stretchable photoelectronics, electronic skins, and implantable electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12332-12337
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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