Electrically Conductive NanoINK

At Yeadon Space Agency, we’ve been working on strong, flexible composites that are made with nanostructured materials and can conduct electricity. The work is important because advancements in responsive products and environments will increasingly require lightweight, flexible, electrical networks with power storage capabilities that are robust yet inconspicuous.

Using carbon nanotubes that are smaller than your DNA, we’ve been able to produce inks and films that can be integrated with other materials to form conductive composites. Unlike thin metal coatings that crack when stretched, the nanotubes do not lose their ability to conduct electricity when they are deformed; in fact, nanotube coatings have been shown to self-heal when broken or punctured. Additionally, nanotubes offer superior strength and are not vulnerable to moisture.

In this video, we are showing our NanoINK being applied to a synthetic pad that does not conduct electricity. The area of the pad that has soaked up the NanoINK has clearly become conductive, and we have found the same to be true for paper and other substrates. Now, imagine conductive textiles and surfaces for clothes or interiors. Imagine a biodegradable polymer that conducts electricity but is designed to have a short life.


Music Credit: “Clear Waters” by Kevin MacLeod