American Chemical Society
am2c17653_si_002.mp4 (23.19 MB)

Fully Screen-Printed PI/PEG Blends Enabled Patternable Electrodes for Scalable Manufacturing of Skin-Conformal, Stretchable, Wearable Electronics

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posted on 2023-01-03, 13:05 authored by Sehyun Park, Seunghyeb Ban, Nathan Zavanelli, Andrew E. Bunn, Shinjae Kwon, Hyo-ryoung Lim, Woon-Hong Yeo, Jong-Hoon Kim
Recent advances in soft materials and nano-microfabrication have enabled the development of flexible wearable electronics. At the same time, printing technologies have been demonstrated to be efficient and compatible with polymeric materials for manufacturing wearable electronics. However, wearable device manufacturing still counts on a costly, complex, multistep, and error-prone cleanroom process. Here, we present fully screen-printable, skin-conformal electrodes for low-cost and scalable manufacturing of wearable electronics. The screen printing of the polyimide (PI) layer enables facile, low-cost, scalable, high-throughput manufacturing. PI mixed with poly(ethylene glycol) exhibits a shear-thinning behavior, significantly improving the printability of PI. The premixed Ag/AgCl ink is then used for conductive layer printing. The serpentine pattern of the screen-printed electrode accommodates natural deformation under stretching (30%) and bending conditions (180°), which are verified by computational and experimental studies. Real-time wireless electrocardiogram monitoring is also successfully demonstrated using the printed electrodes with a flexible printed circuit. The algorithm developed in this study can calculate accurate heart rates, respiratory rates, and heart rate variability metrics for arrhythmia detection.