Fabrication of highly electrically conductive Ti/Ag/Ti tri-layer and Ti–Ag alloy thin films on PET fabrics by multi-target magnetron sputtering
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In this study Ti/Ag/Ti tri-layer and Ti–Ag alloy films were deposited on the surfaces of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabrics by multi-target magnetron sputtering system to fabricate highly electro-conductive textiles. Before sputtering, the fabric was treated by polyacrylic acid ester (PA) to form a continuous surface on the surface of PET fabric by padding method. The as-fabricated fabrics were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectrometer. And the physical properties of the coated fabrics were evaluated by electrical conductivity, contact angle (CA), flexibility and adhesion. At last, a simple electric circuit was made with the as-treated fabric to evaluate the electrical property and explore its application further. The results of the study revealed that pretreatment with PA could form a continuous film on the surface of PET fabric. The PA-coated PET fabric with Ti/Ag/Ti fabric exhibited excellent electrical property whose electrical resistivity was only 5.1 × 10−7 Ω m, CA of 137°. The PA-coated PET fabric with Ti–Ag alloy film exhibited a rather lower electrical resistivity of 3.4 × 10−7 Ω m, CA of about 130°. Moreover, the samples retain ideal flexibility and adhesion. Therefore this study can broaden the application area of magnetron sputtering on discontinuous surface to fabricate electrical conductive fabric. And due to the excellent electro-conductivity, this kind of fabric will be a promising material for smart textiles.
We gratefully acknowledge the General Financial Grant (Grant No.: 2017M612207) from the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation.
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