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Flexible Conduction Trace and Flexible Electronic Device for Wearables

Technology Overview

As the length of flexible and conductive electrodes changes by extension or compression, resistance increases when cracks occur on these conductive lines. Thus, normal electronic operations cannot be guaranteed. Flexible and conductive composite materials capable of ensuring performance at over 40% or a very high deformation rate of 100% or greater has been actively researched. However, these typically require high processing costs, as the new material needs to be synthesised or the processes differ from those of the current state-of-the-art in this invention.

 

It was identified that an electrical resistance of the flexible conduction trace measured in a state where Ni arranged according to this invention is decreased according to the tensile strain increases. The grey graphs of Fig. 16 show that the electrical resistance of flexible conduction trace is decreased to some degree. The decrease of the electrical resistance result from conductive path increasing with the tensile strain. The blue graph showed that the conductivity characteristic of flexible conduction (only Ni arranged and not Ag wiring) is increased along to tensile strain.

Technology Features & Specifications

  • Flexible conduction trace comprising of conductive particles arranged in the form of pillars within the flexible line.
  • Metal particles are mixed with an silicone-based organic polymer material such a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to form the flexible conductive composite.
  • Metal particles are aligned in the desired direction via an external magnetic field.
  • When each of 40% and 60% of tensile strain is applied to the flexible conduction trace, the resistance value was measured to be approximately 40Ω and 10Ω, compared to a typical conductive electrode which turned non-conductive under the same conditions.
  • For example, nickel for the conductive particles and silver(Ag) for the external wiring have demonstrated potential to be suitable for use in this technology.

Potential Applications

This technology is applicable in the following industries:

  • Biometric sensors: Wearable devices in the healthcare or fitness, blood sugar monitoring devices
  • Various wearable devices: flexible biosensor, wearable fitness device, mountain clothes having wearable electrodes, smartwatches, wristband, flexible illumination device, for example, artificial hand/arm having an e-Skin(electronic skin), a curved surface of the artificial fingerprint for detecting physical signals
  • Flexible displays, stretchable displays, head-mounted displays (HMDs) in virtual reality (VR)
  • Diagnostics: Non-invasive wellness monitoring technologies, biomarkers for skin and nutrition
  • Pain sensors and pain management technologies

Customer Benefits

This technology is expected to provide the following benefits:

  • Negative strain-dependent electrical resistance
  • Resistance value varies only slightly when tensile strain is applied
  • Resists high deformation rates of 40 - 100% or greater
  • Flexible electronic devices can operate reliably with high stability
  • Lower cost than other flexible, conductive and deformable materials
  • Simple process of aligning the flexible conductive composite material

 

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