Author ORCID Identifier
http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0847-437X :Tricia Carmichael
Advanced Materials Technologies
wearable electronics, e-textiles, stretchable electronics
The vision for wearable electronics involves creating an imperceptible boundary between humans and devices. Integrating electronic devices into clothing represents an important path to this vision; however, combining conductive materials with textiles is challenging due to the porous structure of knitted textiles. Stretchability depends on maintaining the void structure between the yarns of the fabric; filling these voids with conductive materials stiffens the textile and can lead to detrimental cracking. The authors demonstrate the solution-based metallization of a knitted textile that conformally coats individual fibers with gold, leaving the void structure intact. The resulting gold-coated textile is highly conductive, with a sheet resistance of 1.07 Wsq-1in the course direction. The resistance decreases by 80% when the fabric is stretched to 15% strain, and remains at this value to 160% strain. This outstanding combination of stretchability and conductivity is accompanied by durability to wearing, sweating, and washing. Low-cost screen printing of a wax resist is demonstrated to produce patterned gold textiles suitable for electrically connecting discrete devices in clothing. The fabrication of electroluminescent fabric by depositing layers of device materials onto the gold-coated textile is furthermore demonstrated, intimately merging device functionality with textiles for imperceptible wearable devices.
Funding Reference Number
Carmichael, Tricia; Wu, Yunyun; Mechael, Sara S.; and Chen, Yiting. (2018). Solution Deposition of Conformal Gold Coatings on Knitted Fabric for E-Textiles and Electroluminescent Clothing. Advanced Materials Technologies, 3 (3), 1700292.
Available for download on Wednesday, September 25, 2019