How to Make Conductive Ink

Conductive ink is exactly what it sounds like: A colored liquid that transmits or conducts electricity. You're not likely to dip conductive ink out of an inkwell, though. The conductive particles must be transported within a non-conductive medium that dries or reduces once applied, which then stacks the conductive particles--usually carbon graphite powder or fine metallic flakes--in contact with each other, allowing electricity to be conducted throughout the expanse of conductive ink.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass container

  • Black liquid tape

  • Carbon graphite powder, very fine

  • Tuluol or toluene solvent

Step 1

Work in a very well-ventilated area--outdoors if possible--and wear gloves to protect your hands from the solvents you're using and safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Step 2

Mix three parts carbon graphite powder to two parts liquid tape and six parts Tuloul solvent together in a glass container.

Step 3

Use a paint brush or sponge brush to paint the conductive ink you've created onto your target surface.

Step 4

Wait until the ink is completely dry to the touch--this should take half an hour or less.

Tip

Add clear cement adhesive to create a thicker conductive glue if you so desire. Most of the materials you need should be available at local hardware stores; carbon graphite powder is often sold as a lubricant. You can use fine silver or copper flakes in place of graphite powder if you wish.

Warning

Never work with these materials in an enclosed area; the fumes are dangerous.

References & Resources