Conductive Silk-Based Composites Using Biobased Carbon Materials.
ABSTRACT: There is great interest in developing conductive biomaterials for the manufacturing of sensors or flexible electronics with applications in healthcare, tracking human motion, or in situ strain measurements. These biomaterials aim to overcome the mismatch in mechanical properties at the interface between typical rigid semiconductor sensors and soft, often uneven biological surfaces or tissues for in vivo and ex vivo applications. Here, the use of biobased carbons to fabricate conductive, highly stretchable, flexible, and biocompatible silk-based composite biomaterials is demonstrated. Biobased carbons are synthesized via hydrothermal processing, an aqueous thermochemical method that converts biomass into a carbonaceous material that can be applied upon activation as conductive filler in composite biomaterials. Experimental synthesis and full-atomistic molecular dynamics modeling are combined to synthesize and characterize these conductive composite biomaterials, made entirely from renewable sources and with promising applications in fields like biomedicine, energy, and electronics.
Project description:Electronic textiles demand a new family of flexible circuit boards in the construction of fiber or fiber assemblies. This paper presents a stretchable woven fabric circuit board (FCB) with permanent as well as detachable electrical connections to sensors or other wearable electronics components. The woven FCB was created by integrating conductive yarns into an elastic woven fabric. Permanent connection was designed between the conductive tracks and flexible sensors; detachable connection was achieved by the helical structure of conductive yarns wrapping around the rigid component electrode encapsulated within elastomeric layer. The developed FCB, with its connections to flexible sensors or rigid components, is porous, flexible, and capable of stretching to 30% strain. The woven FCB with permanent connection to temperature sensors has a large fatigue life of more than 10,000 cycles while maintaining constant electrical resistance due to crimped configurations of the conductive track in the elastic fabric substrate and stable contact resistance. A prototype of the FCB assembly, with independent light-emitting diodes electrically linked and mechanically supported by the woven FCB, is also demonstrated for wearable applications.
Project description:Low-concentration oil-in-water emulsions stabilized by cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) extracted from primary plant cell wall materials are used to prepare thin biobased CNF-oil composite films by solvent casting. Flexible, transparent, and biodegradable composite films are obtained, with increased thermal stability (up to 300 °C) as the oil concentration increases. Examination of the microstructure demonstrates a clear dependency on the oil content, as a multilayered structure where the oil phase trapped between two layers of CNFs is appreciated at high oil concentrations. The embedded oil significantly influences the mechanical and wetting properties of the films, confirming their potential for use in packaging systems. Encapsulation of curcumin in the composite films leads to an increased antioxidant (up to 30% radical scavenging activity) and antimicrobial activity, inhibiting the growth of foodborne bacteria such as Escherichia coli. The resulting composite films show promising results in the field of active packaging for applications in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
Project description:Conductive elastic composites have been used widely in soft electronics and soft robotics. These composites are typically a mixture of conductive fillers within elastomeric substrates. They can sense strain via changes in resistance resulting from separation of the fillers during elongation. Thus, most elastic composites exhibit a negative piezoconductive effect, i.e. the conductivity decreases under tensile strain. This property is undesirable for stretchable conductors since such composites may become less conductive during deformation. Here, we report a liquid metal-filled magnetorheological elastomer comprising a hybrid of fillers of liquid metal microdroplets and metallic magnetic microparticles. The composite's resistivity reaches a maximum value in the relaxed state and drops drastically under any deformation, indicating that the composite exhibits an unconventional positive piezoconductive effect. We further investigate the magnetic field-responsive thermal properties of the composite and demonstrate several proof-of-concept applications. This composite has prospective applications in sensors, stretchable conductors, and responsive thermal interfaces.
Project description:Stretchable and flexible multifunctional electronic components, including sensors and actuators, have received increasing attention in robotics, electronics, wearable, and healthcare applications. Despite advances, it has remained challenging to design analogs of many electronic components to be highly stretchable, to be efficient to fabricate, and to provide control over electronic performance. Here, we describe highly elastic sensors and interconnects formed from thin, twisted conductive microtubules. These devices consist of twisted assemblies of thin, highly stretchable (>400%) elastomer tubules filled with liquid conductor (eutectic gallium indium, EGaIn), and fabricated using a simple roller coating process. As we demonstrate, these devices can operate as multimodal sensors for strain, rotation, contact force, or contact location. We also show that, through twisting, it is possible to control their mechanical performance and electronic sensitivity. In extensive experiments, we have evaluated the capabilities of these devices, and have prototyped an array of applications in several domains of stretchable and wearable electronics. These devices provide a novel, low cost solution for high performance stretchable electronics with broad applications in industry, healthcare, and consumer electronics, to emerging product categories of high potential economic and societal significance.
Project description:Polylactide (PLA)-based polymers, functionalized with biobased antioxidants, were synthesized, to develop an intrinsically active, biobased and potentially biodegradable material for food packaging applications. To achieve this result, phenolic antioxidants were exploited as initiators in the ring opening polymerization of l-lactide. The molecular weight, thermal properties and in vitro radical scavenging activity of the polymers obtained were compared with the ones of a PLA Natureworks 4043D, commonly used for flexible food packaging applications. The most promising synthesized polymer, bearing vanillyl alcohol as initiator (PLA-VA), was evaluated for active food packaging applications. Packaging with PLA-VA films reduced color and fat oxidation of salami during its shelf life.
Project description:It is remarkably desirable and challenging to design a stretchable conductive material with tunable electromagnetic-interference (EMI) shielding and heat transfer for applications in flexible electronics. However, the existing materials sustained a severe attenuation of performances when largely stretched. Here, a super-stretchable (800% strain) liquid metal foamed elastomer composite (LMF-EC) is reported, achieving super-high electrical (?104 S cm-1) and thermal (17.6 W mK-1) conductivities under a large strain of 400%, which also exhibits unexpected stretching-enhanced EMI shielding effectiveness of 85 dB due to the conductive network elongation and reorientation. By varying the liquid and solid states of LMF, the stretching can enable a multifunctional reversible switch that simultaneously regulates the thermal, electrical, and electromagnetic wave transport. Novel flexible temperature control and a thermoelectric system based on LMF-EC is furthermore developed. This work is a significant step toward the development of smart electromagnetic and thermal regulator for stretchable electronics.
Project description:The ability to pattern planar and freestanding 3D metallic architectures at the microscale would enable myriad applications, including flexible electronics, displays, sensors, and electrically small antennas. A 3D printing method is introduced that combines direct ink writing with a focused laser that locally anneals printed metallic features "on-the-fly." To optimize the nozzle-to-laser separation distance, the heat transfer along the printed silver wire is modeled as a function of printing speed, laser intensity, and pulse duration. Laser-assisted direct ink writing is used to pattern highly conductive, ductile metallic interconnects, springs, and freestanding spiral architectures on flexible and rigid substrates.
Project description:Biobased polyamide 410 (PA410)/multiwall carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposites (NCs) were obtained by melt-mixing in a twin screw extruder a Polyamide 6 (PA6)-based masterbatch (with 15 wt % CNT content) with neat PA410. Directly mixed PA410/CNT NCs were also obtained for comparison purposes. Transmision Electronic Microscopy (TEM) observation and conductivity measurements demonstrated that a good dispersion of CNTs was obtained, which was probably induced by the full miscibility between PA410 and PA6 (in the concentration range employed here), as ascertained by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) tests. As a result, the PA410/PA6/CNT NCs showed superior mechanical behaviour (≈10% Young's modulus increase with a 4 wt % CNT content) than the binary PA410/CNT NCs (≈5% Young's modulus increase with a 6 wt % CNT content), as well as superior electrical behaviour, with maximum conductivity values of approximately three orders of magnitude higher than in the binary PA410/CNT system, and lower percolation threshold values (0.65 wt % CNT content vs. 3.98 wt % CNT). The good dispersion and enhanced mechanical and electrical properties of these novel biobased nanocomposites, broadens their potential applications, such as electrical and electronics (E&E) or automotive industries.
Project description:The conductive polymer complex poly (3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) is the most explored conductive polymer for conductive textiles applications. Since PEDOT:PSS is readily available in water dispersion form, it is convenient for roll-to-roll processing which is compatible with the current textile processing applications. In this work, we have made a comprehensive review on the PEDOT:PSS-based conductive textiles, methods of application onto textiles and their applications. The conductivity of PEDOT:PSS can be enhanced by several orders of magnitude using processing agents. However, neat PEDOT:PSS lacks flexibility and strechability for wearable electronics applications. One way to improve the mechanical flexibility of conductive polymers is making a composite with commodity polymers such as polyurethane which have high flexibility and stretchability. The conductive polymer composites also increase attachment of the conductive polymer to the textile, thereby increasing durability to washing and mechanical actions. Pure PEDOT:PSS conductive fibers have been produced by solution spinning or electrospinning methods. Application of PEDOT:PSS can be carried out by polymerization of the monomer on the fabric, coating/dyeing and printing methods. PEDOT:PSS-based conductive textiles have been used for the development of sensors, actuators, antenna, interconnections, energy harvesting, and storage devices. In this review, the application methods of PEDOT:SS-based conductive polymers in/on to a textile substrate structure and their application thereof are discussed.
Project description:Self-powered flexible electronics are of particular interest and important for next generation electronics due to their light weight, flexible and self-sustainable properties. Many self-powered sensors made from piezoelectric composite materials are either inflexible or possess low piezoelectricity. In this work, we demonstrate self-powered flexible and highly active pressure and shear sensors based on freeze casting ceramic-polymer structures. A lamellar lead zirconate titanate (PZT) structure is initially developed via freeze-casting and the piezoelectric composites are formed by impregnating a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix into the aligned pore channels. The structured PZT-PDMS composites exhibited a high effective longitudinal piezoelectric coefficient (d 33*) of 750 pC N-1, which is higher than that of the monolithic ceramic due to the combination of bending and flexural effects. The use of freeze casting enables the manufacture of complex and arbitrary shaped 3D piezoelectric architectures, along with the unique advantages of low-cost and ease of fabrication. A 14 × 14 mm2 PZT-PDMS pressure sensor was able to bend to a small radius of 8 mm and maintain a high d 33. Furthermore, the manufactured self-powered sensors are demonstrated in a range of applications, such as acceleration, strain and touch sensors that use the d 33, d 31 and d 15 coefficients to detect longitudinal, transverse and shear loads. This work expands on the potential applications of freeze casting and provides new opportunities for the manufacture of future electronic sensors.