We will present a method to fabricate a new class of hybrid composite structures based on highly organized multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) and singlewalled carbon nanotube (SWNT) network architectures and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix for the prototype high performance flexible systems which could be used for many daily-use applications. To build 1–3 dimensional highly organized network architectures with carbon nanotubes (both MWNT and SWNT) in macro/micro/nanoscale we used various nanotube assembly processes such as selective growth of carbon nanotubes using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and self-assembly of nanotubes on the patterned trenches through solution evaporation with dip coating. Then these vertically or horizontally aligned and assembled nanotube architectures and networks are transferred in PDMS matrix using casting process thereby creating highly organized carbon nanotube based flexible composite structures. The PDMS matrix undergoes excellent conformal filling within the dense nanotube network, giving rise to extremely flexible conducting structures with unique electromechanical properties. We will demonstrate its robustness under large stress conditions, under which the composite is found to retain its conducting nature. We will also demonstrate that these structures can be directly utilized as flexible field-emission devices. Our devices show some of the best field enhancement factors and turn-on electric fields reported so far.

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