Research (Wash D C). 2022 Oct 27;2022:9890686. doi: 10.34133/2022/9890686. eCollection 2022.
Conductive polymer fibers/wires (CPFs) are important materials in modern technologies due to their unique one-dimension geometry, electrical conductivity, and flexibility. However, the advanced applications of current CPFs are limited by their low electrical conductivities (<500 S/m) and poor interfacial interactions between conductive fillers (e.g., graphite) and polymers. Therefore, in current electrical applications, metal wires/foils like copper and aluminum are the most frequently utilized conductive fibers/wires instead of the inferior conductive CPFs. This work successfully addresses the heavy phase segregation between polymers and conductive inorganic materials to obtain semiliquid metal polymer fibers (SLMPFs) which exhibit an ultrahigh electrical conductivity (over 106 S/m), remarkable thermal processability, and considerable mechanical performance (Young’s modulus: ~300 MPa). Semiliquid metal (gallium-tin alloy) with tunable viscosities is the key to achieve the excellent miscibility between metals and polymers. Both the rheological results and numerical simulations demonstrate the critical viscosity matching for the successful preparation of the fibers. More importantly, the fibers are adapted with classic polymer melt-processing like melt injection, which indicates the scalable production of the highly conductive fibers. The SLMPFs are highly promising substitutes for metal wires/fibers in modern electrical applications such as electricity transmission, data communication, and underwater works.