Freestanding Functional Structures by Aerosol-Jet Printing for Stretchable Electronics and Sensing Applications

Qingshen Jing, Yeon Sik Choi, Michael Smith, Canlin Ou, Tommaso Busolo, Sohini Kar-Narayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modern electronic devices, particularly those intended for wearable or human health monitoring applications, require high levels of flexibility and stretchability. Hence devices, as well as interconnects, need to be capable of retaining functionality even when being mechanically deformed. Most approaches towards achieving this rely on printing or transferring structures onto elastomeric substrates that can withstand stretching. However, the processing involved can often be cumbersome, and the structures themselves tend to suffer from poor fatigue and/or are limited by the mechanical properties of the underlying substrate. Here, we have developed a novel aerosol jet printing technique capable of building fully freestanding functional structures layer by layer, which are robust and reliable upon thousands of stretching cycles. The process involves printing a combination of layers of different materials with the desired functionality, onto a substrate coated with a sacrificial film that is subsequently dissolved to release the printed structure. Using this method, we demonstrate freestanding conductive wires that can be used as stretchable interconnects/electrodes, and that also function as strain-sensors. Additionally, we show that a freestanding capacitive structure functions as a robust, stretchable humidity sensor, paving the way for the development of other multilayer, multifunctional stretchable devices and sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900048
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Volume4
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by a grant from the European Research Council through an ERC Starting Grant (Grant no. ERC–2014– STG–639526, NANOGEN). Q.J. is grateful for financial support through a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship, H2020-MSCA-IF-2015-702868. T.B. acknowledges support from EPSRC Cambridge NanoDTC (EP/L015978/1). C.O. is grateful for studentship funding from the Cambridge Trust and China Scholarship Council. Y.S.C. and M.S. are grateful for studentship funding through the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust. Supporting data for this paper is available at the DSpace@Cambridge data repository (https://doi. org/10.17863/CAM.37372).

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by a grant from the European Research Council through an ERC Starting Grant (Grant no. ERC?2014?STG?639526, NANOGEN). Q.J. is grateful for financial support through a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship, H2020-MSCA-IF-2015-702868. T.B. acknowledges support from EPSRC Cambridge NanoDTC (EP/L015978/1). C.O. is grateful for studentship funding from the Cambridge Trust and China Scholarship Council. Y.S.C. and M.S. are grateful for studentship funding through the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust. Supporting data for this paper is available at the DSpace@Cambridge data repository (https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.37372).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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