We present a highly conformable, stretchable, and transparent electrode for application in epidermal electronics based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and Ag nanowire (AgNW) networks. With the addition of a small amount of a commercially available nonionic surfactant, Triton X, PDMS became highly adhesive and mechanically compliant, key factors for the development of conformable and stretchable substrates. The polar functional groups present in Triton X interacted with the Pt catalyst present in the PDMS curing agent, thereby hindering the cross-linking reaction of PDMS and modulating the mechanical properties of the polymer. Due to the strong interactions that occur between the polar functional groups of Triton X and AgNWs, AgNWs were effectively embedded in the adhesive PDMS (a-PDMS) matrix, and the highly enhanced conformability, mechanical stretchability, and transparency of the a-PDMS matrix were maintained in the resulting AgNW-embedded a-PDMS matrix. Finally, wearable strain and electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors were fabricated from the AgNW-embedded a-PDMS. The a-PDMS-based strain and ECG sensors exhibited significantly improved sensing performances compared with those of the bare PDMS-based sensors because of the better stretchability and conformability to the skin of the former sensors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering