Printing is one of the easy and quick ways to make a stretchable wearable electronics. Conventional printing methods deposit conductive materials “on” or “inside” a rubber substrate. The conductors made by such printing methods cannot be used as device electrodes because of the large surface topology, poor stretchability, or weak adhesion between the substrate and the conducting material. Here, a method is presented by which conductive materials are printed in the way of being surface-embedded in the rubber substrate; hence, the conductors can be widely used as device electrodes and circuits. The printing process involves a direct printing of a metal precursor solution in a block-copolymer rubber substrate and chemical reduction of the precursor into metal nanoparticles. The electrical conductivity and sensitivity to the mechanical deformation can be controlled by adjusting the number of printing operations. The fabrication of highly sensitive vibration sensors is thus presented, which can detect weak pulses and sound waves. In addition, this work takes advantage of the viscoelasticity of the composite conductor to fabricate highly conductive stretchable circuits for complicated 3D structures. The printed electrodes are also used to fabricate a stretchable electrochemiluminescence display.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Center for Advanced Soft-Electronics funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning as Global Frontier Project (CASE-2015M3A6A5072945) and by the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT). Also, this work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program or Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program (10077533, Development of robotic manipulation algorithm for grasping/assembling with the machine learning using visual and tactile sensing information) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering