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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) and the Ministry of Education (grant no. 2015R1D1A1A01061340). This study was also funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (grant no. 2018R1A2B6001390) and the Joint Program for Samsung Electronics-Yonsei University.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering