Flexible Electronics

Wired-up wash and go

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Science  18 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6352, pp. 657-658
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6352.657-d

A range of approaches have emerged for making flexible electronics and for their inclusion into textiles and fabrics. One challenge common to all those approaches is to make the conducting fibers robust enough to survive extensive usage, including the need to wash the fabrics on a regular basis. Le Floch et al. address that challenge by combining a hydrogel that provides flexibility, a hygroscopic salt that enables ionic conduction at fixed humidity, and an outer coating of butyl rubber to retain the water level of the hydrogel. A silane condensation reaction makes it possible to dip-coat the butyl rubber coating. Cyclical stretching of the fibers in a detergent solution and several machine washing cycles caused little change in the fiber conductivity.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 10.1021/acsami.7b07361 (2017).

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