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Robust and Soft Elastomeric Electronics Tolerant to Our Daily Lives

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posted on 09.09.2015, 00:00 by Atsuko Sekiguchi, Fumiaki Tanaka, Takeshi Saito, Yuki Kuwahara, Shunsuke Sakurai, Don N. Futaba, Takeo Yamada, Kenji Hata
Clothes represent a unique textile, as they simultaneously provide robustness against our daily activities and comfort (i.e., softness). For electronic devices to be fully integrated into clothes, the devices themselves must be as robust and soft as the clothes themselves. However, to date, no electronic device has ever possessed these properties, because all contain components fabricated from brittle materials, such as metals. Here, we demonstrate robust and soft elastomeric devices where every component possesses elastomeric characteristics with two types of single-walled carbon nanotubes added to provide the necessary electronic properties. Our elastomeric field effect transistors could tolerate every punishment our clothes experience, such as being stretched (elasticity: ∼ 110%), bent, compressed (>4.0 MPa, by a car and heels), impacted (>6.26 kg m/s, by a hammer), and laundered. Our electronic device provides a novel design principle for electronics and wide range applications even in research fields where devices cannot be used.

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