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Woven sensor fibers for wearable computing

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Electronic textiles (or e-textiles) have a wide range of potential applications in wearable computing and large-area applications, including medical monitoring, assistance to the disabled, and distributed sensor networks. Integrating electronics into textiles conventionally involves attaching printed circuit boards (PCBs) with sensing and data processing capabilities to textile substrates. By contrast, our approach focuses on incorporating electronic sensors into textiles during the weaving process. The first step of our process involves fabricating thin-film sensors and transistors on plastic substrates or attaching sensor chips directly to interconnect lines patterned on the substrate. Next, we cut the substrate into sensor-stripes as narrow as 50µm that can be woven into a textile using an industrial weaving machine. This talk will present the various thin-film devices that were developed for textile integration, the details of our weaving method and first demonstrators that were developed. It will also include a discussion of how device fabrication needs to be adapted to fabricate rugged devices that are capable of surviving the high strain rates and small bending radii that plastic stripes experience during weaving.

This talk is part of the Nanoscience Centre Seminar Series series.

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