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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Professor Del Atkinson

Webb, Alexander J., Szablewski, Marek, Bloor, David, Atkinson, Del, Graham, Adam, Laughlin, Paul & Lussey, David (2013). A multi-component nanocomposite screen-printed ink with non-linear touch sensitive electrical conductivity. Nanotechnology 24(16): 165501.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Printable electronics is an innovative area of technology with great commercial potential. Here, a screen-printed functional ink, comprising a combination of semiconducting acicular particles, electrically insulating nanoparticles and a base polymer ink, is described that exhibits pronounced pressure sensitive electrical properties for applications in sensing and touch sensitive surfaces. The combination of these components in the as-printed ink yield a complex structure and a large and reproducible touch pressure sensitive resistance range. In contrast to the case for some composite systems, the resistance changes occur down to applied pressures of 13 Pa. Current–voltage measurements at fixed pressures show monotonic non-linear behaviour, which becomes more Ohmic at higher pressures and in all cases shows some hysteresis. The physical basis for conduction, particularly in the low pressure regime, can be described in terms of field assisted quantum mechanical tunnelling.