Introduction, in recent years, with the progress of materials and technology, such as graphene and nanotechnology, and therefore the birth of many, can be used for flexible wearable devices materials and technology. Currently, 3D printing technology, too, is developing at high speed in this field and has special technical advantages. Multifunctional flexible wearable electronics can enrich our lives in areas such as personal health management, drug delivery, motion detection and electronic skin. In practical use, wearable flexible devices face many challenges. Therefore, it is especially important to develop new highly sensitive multifunctional wearable electronics.
July 13, 2022 - A group of researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBCO), using MXene and conductive polymer materials, has created a highly sensitive wearable device with dual uses. They say they have tapped into advanced materials that are both conductive and flexible.
Using high-resolution extrusion 3D printing technology, the team has developed small and lightweight devices that act as both electromagnetic interference (EMI) shields and body motion sensors. The researchers say the EMI shields could have applications in the healthcare, aerospace and automotive industries.
MXene materials are a class of metal carbide and metal nitride materials with a two-dimensional layered structure that resembles chips stacked on top of each other. MXene materials have the chemical formula Mn+1AXn, where (n = 1-3), M represents early transition metals such as Sc, Ti, Zr, V, Nb, Cr or Mo; A usually represents the third and fourth main group chemical elements. main group and fourth main group chemical elements; and X represents C or N elements.
These can be integrated into garments and devices made with conductive inks consisting of MXene, two-dimensional inorganic nanomaterials, and conductive polymers.
MXene is a smart carbon material that, like its cousin graphene, has a strong combination of properties that make it both highly conductive and flexible, said Mohammad Arjmand, an assistant professor of advanced materials and polymer engineering and Canada Research Chair at UBCO's School of Engineering.
When used in conductive inks, it is ideal for making the new wearable devices that are increasingly becoming part of everyday life, he said in a press statement. "These conductive materials are well suited for 3D printing processes, which means we can produce different shapes or geometries, and the products will have excellent architectural flexibility."
Indeed, historically, manufacturing wearable devices through traditional manufacturing methods has not been easy, both to meet the flexible, personal needs of such devices for users and to make them perform well. students on Arjmand's team say that current manufacturing techniques for functional materials, mostly limited to lamination and simple structures, cannot integrate monitoring technologies.
Extrusion 3D printing, on the other hand, offers customization, reduced material waste and rapid production, while opening up many opportunities for wearable and smart electronics." In a press statement, he said, "As extrusion printing technology improves, it is opening the door to even more innovation.
The UBCO team claims to have adapted their printing process so that it meets both the demands of high-resolution printing and the precise structures required for dual-use devices. These printed structures can be implanted with microcracks to develop highly sensitive sensors," the unity explains. The tiny cracks in their structures are used to track tiny vibrations in the surrounding environment. Such vibrations can be used to monitor many human activities, including breathing, facial movements, speech, and muscle contraction and relaxation."