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Self-Sealing Carbon Patterns by One-Step Direct Laser Writing and Their Use in Multifunctional Wearable Sensors

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journal contribution
posted on 31.10.2020, 12:43 by Yanbo Yao, Zhufeng Jiang, Jingwen Yao, Jiangjiang Luo, Chang Xu, Jinyu Chong, Tao Liu
A combined photothermal simulation and experimental study leads to a novel internal reflection-assisted direct laser writing carbonization method (IR-DLWc), which enables in situ fabrication of carbon features/patterns that are self-sealed in the interior of a thin polyimide (PI) film in one step without additional packaging procedures. With this new method, carbon line patterns that are fully contained in a 50 μm PI film are fabricated, characterized, and evaluated for their electrical and piezoresistive performance. The self-sealing character of the carbon features created by IR-DLWc imparts them unprecedented mechanical stability/robustness as compared to those fabricated by the conventional DLWc method. Upon applying a double-writing scheme and strain-engineering treatment, the IR-DLWc-created carbon lines show significantly improved piezoresistive sensitivity with a gauge factor evaluated to be 428 in tension and 107 in compression. The high piezoresistive sensitivity, excellent dynamic response, reasonably good durability, self-sealing character, and compliant nature of the IR-DLWc generated carbon patterns make them suitable for a variety of wearable sensing applications. In this work, we demonstrated their use as a tactile sensor for sensing contact force; a functional bandage for monitoring physiological activities like swallowing, pulsing, and breathing; and a glove sensing system for finger gesture recognition.