Stretchable, Transparent, Tough, Ultrathin, and Self-limiting Skin-like Substrate for Stretchable Electronics
2018-07-24T00:00:00Z (GMT) by
Human skin is highly stretchable at low strain but becomes self-limiting when deformed at large strain due to stiffening caused by alignment of a network of stiff collagen nanofibers inside the tissue beneath the epidermis. To imitate this mechanical behavior and the sensory function of human skin, we fabricated a skin-like substrate with highly stretchable, transparent, tough, ultrathin, mechanosensory, and self-limiting properties by incorporating piezoelectric crystalline poly((vinylidene fluoride)-co-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)) nanofibers with a high modulus into the low modulus matrix of elastomeric poly(dimethylsiloxane). Randomly distributed P(VDF-TrFE) nanofibers in the elastomer matrix conferred a self-limiting property to the skin-like substrate so that it can easily stretch at low strain but swiftly counteract rupturing in response to stretching. The stretchability, toughness, and Young’s modulus of the ultrathin (∼62 μm) skin-like substrate with high optical transparency could be tuned by controlling the loading of nanofibers. Moreover, the ultrathin skin-like substrate with a stretchable temperature sensor fabricated on it demonstrated the ability to accommodate bodily motion-induced strain in the sensor while maintaining its mechanosensory and thermosensory functionalities.
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