conductive fabrics, e-textiles, electroless metallization, gold-coated fabrics, knitted nylon/spandex fabric, light-emitting devices, MAP5: Improvement, stencil printing, stretchable ACEL devices, stretchable electronics, wearable electronics
Despite the development throughout human history of a wealth of textile materials and structures, the porous structures and non-planar surfaces of textiles are often viewed as problematic for the fabrication of wearable e-textiles and smart clothing. Here, we demonstrate a new textile-centric design paradigm in which we use the textile structure as an integral part of wearable device design. We coat the open framework structure of an ultrasheer knitted textile with a conformal gold film using solution-based metallization to form gold-coated ultrasheer electrodes that are highly conductive (3.6 ± 0.9 Ω/sq) and retain conductivity to 200% strain with R/R0 < 2. The ultrasheer electrodes produce wearable, highly stretchable light-emitting e-textiles that function to 200% strain. Stencil printing a wax resist provides patterned electrodes for patterned light emission; furthermore, incorporating soft-contact lamination produces light-emitting textiles that exhibit, for the first time, readily changeable patterns of illumination.
Wu, Yunyun; Mechael, Sara S.; Lerma, Cecilia; Carmichael, R. Stephen; and Carmichael, Tricia Breen. (2020). Stretchable Ultrasheer Fabrics as Semitransparent Electrodes for Wearable Light-Emitting e-Textiles with Changeable Display Patterns. Matter, 2 (4), 882-895.