Towards cheap breathable electronic tattoo sensors: Page 2 of 2

March 01, 2018 //By Julien Happich
Towards cheap breathable electronic tattoo sensors
Experimenting with a cut-and-paste method they had developed a few years ago for epidermal electronics (more commonly known as electronic tattoos), a team of researchers from the University of Texas has managed to fabricate low-cost, breathable e-tattoos only 1.5μm thick.

In their paper, the researchers note that such a cut-and-paste method can be used to pattern other material combinations, including Al/PET, carbon-doped thin film PDMS, graphene/PMMA and even indium tin oxide (ITO) on PET.

Once transferred, the 1.5μm-thick tape-free and open-mesh e-tattoo can adhere on the skin purely via van der Waals forces. For improved durability, it was sprayed with a transparent encapsulation layer about 1μm thick (except for the hydration sensors which had been covered by a paper stencil).

Due to their high conformability, these low cost e-tattoos ensure a large contact area between the sensors and the skin, lowering the contact impedance and facilitating signal transfer across the sensor–skin interface. Measuring 75×40mm, the multifunctional e-tattoo was shown to operate reliably even under various skin deformations.

Comparing the conformability of a 13μm-thick open-mesh (top row) and 1.5μm-thick e-tattoo on the human skin (bottom row).

University of Texas at Austin -

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