Materials, Structures and Manufacturing towards Soft Electronics

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "E:Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 10694

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2300, USA
Interests: biosensors; soft electronics; soft robotics; haptic interfaces; manufacturing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soft electronics, such as wearable sensors, soft actuators, soft displays and flexible/stretchable energy devices, are quickly emerging and have demonstrated great potentials in a broad range of applications. Soft electronics, different from conventional rigid electronics, enable intimate integrations of electronics with dynamic nonplanar surfaces (e.g., human skin and robotic surfaces), and thus allow for enhanced robustness under deformations and improved device performance. Innovations in this highly multidisciplinary research area are driven by cross-disciplinary efforts in materials science, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering.

This Special Issue aims to showcase recent advances in this fast-growing field, ranging from strategies in material synthesis and structure design, to the development of advanced manufacturing techniques, and to the exploration of new applications. This Special Issue highlights research papers and review articles that cover different aspects related to soft electronics. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Smart functional materials as building blocks for soft electronics;
  • Design, analysis, and modeling of smart structures for soft electronics;
  • Novel manufacturing techniques for soft electronics;
  • Experimental, theoretical, or modeling research towards the integration of soft electronics into advanced systems;
  • Hybrid systems integrating soft electronics and conventional electronics;
  • Emerging performance and applications of soft electronics, such as in healthcare, robotics, human–machine interaction, and entertainment.

Dr. Shanshan Yao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Smart Materials
  • Smart Structures
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Wearable Sensors
  • Flexible and Stretchable Electronics
  • Soft Electronics
  • Wearable Systems
  • Soft Actuators
  • Soft Robotics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 4120 KiB  
Article
On-Demand Metallization System Using Micro-Plasma Bubbles
by Yu Yamashita, Shinya Sakuma and Yoko Yamanishi
Micromachines 2022, 13(8), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13081312 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
3D wiring technology is required for the integration of micro–nano devices on various 3D surfaces. However, current wiring technologies cannot be adapted to a variety of materials and surfaces. Here, we propose a new metal deposition method using only a micro-plasma bubble injector [...] Read more.
3D wiring technology is required for the integration of micro–nano devices on various 3D surfaces. However, current wiring technologies cannot be adapted to a variety of materials and surfaces. Here, we propose a new metal deposition method using only a micro-plasma bubble injector and a metal ion solution. Micro-plasma bubbles were generated on demand using pulses, and the localized reaction field enables metal deposition independent of the substrate. Three different modes of micro-plasma bubble generation were created depending on the power supply conditions and mode suitable for metal deposition. Furthermore, using a mode in which one bubble was generated for all pulses among the three modes, copper deposition on dry/wet materials, such as chicken tissue and glass substrates, was achieved. In addition, metal deposition of copper, nickel, chromium, cobalt, and zinc was achieved by simply changing the metal ion solution. Finally, patterning on glass and epoxy resin was performed. Notably, the proposed metal deposition method is conductivity independent. The proposed method is a starting point for 3D wiring of wet materials, which is difficult with existing technologies. Our complete system makes it possible to directly attach sensors and actuators to living organisms and robots, for example, and contribute to soft robotics and biomimetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials, Structures and Manufacturing towards Soft Electronics)
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10 pages, 4611 KiB  
Article
Combination of Micro-Corrugation Process and Pre-Stretched Method for Highly Stretchable Vertical Wavy Structured Metal Interconnects
by Michitaka Yamamoto, Shinji Okuda, Seiichi Takamatsu and Toshihiro Itoh
Micromachines 2022, 13(8), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13081210 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
Metal interconnects with a vertical wavy structure have been studied to realize high-density and low-electric-resistance stretchable interconnects. This study proposed a new method for fabricating vertical wavy structured metal interconnects that comprises the pre-stretch method and the micro-corrugation process. The pre-stretch method is [...] Read more.
Metal interconnects with a vertical wavy structure have been studied to realize high-density and low-electric-resistance stretchable interconnects. This study proposed a new method for fabricating vertical wavy structured metal interconnects that comprises the pre-stretch method and the micro-corrugation process. The pre-stretch method is a conventional method in which a metal film is placed on a pre-stretched substrate, and a vertical wavy structure is formed using the return force of the substrate. The micro-corrugation process is a recent method in which a metal foil is bent vertically and continuously using micro-gears. In the proposed method, the pitch of the vertical wavy structured interconnect fabricated using the micro-corrugation process is significantly narrowed using the restoring force of the pre-stretched substrate, with stretchability improvement of up to 165%, which is significantly higher than that of conventional vertical wavy structured metal interconnects. The electrical resistance of the fabricated interconnect was low (120–160 mΩ) and stable (±2 mΩ or less) until breakage by strain. In addition, the fabricated interconnect exhibits durability of more than 6500 times in a 30% strain cycle test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials, Structures and Manufacturing towards Soft Electronics)
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17 pages, 9674 KiB  
Article
Human Motion State Recognition Based on Flexible, Wearable Capacitive Pressure Sensors
by Qingyang Yu, Peng Zhang and Yucheng Chen
Micromachines 2021, 12(10), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12101219 - 6 Oct 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2576
Abstract
Human motion state recognition technology based on flexible, wearable sensor devices has been widely applied in the fields of human–computer interaction and health monitoring. In this study, a new type of flexible capacitive pressure sensor is designed and applied to the recognition of [...] Read more.
Human motion state recognition technology based on flexible, wearable sensor devices has been widely applied in the fields of human–computer interaction and health monitoring. In this study, a new type of flexible capacitive pressure sensor is designed and applied to the recognition of human motion state. The electrode layers use multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as conductive materials, and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with microstructures is embedded in the surface as a flexible substrate. A composite film of barium titanate (BaTiO3) with a high dielectric constant and low dielectric loss and PDMS is used as the intermediate dielectric layer. The sensor has the advantages of high sensitivity (2.39 kPa−1), wide pressure range (0–120 kPa), low pressure resolution (6.8 Pa), fast response time (16 ms), fast recovery time (8 ms), lower hysteresis, and stability. The human body motion state recognition system is designed based on a multi-layer back propagation neural network, which can collect, process, and recognize the sensor signals of different motion states (sitting, standing, walking, and running). The results indicate that the overall recognition rate of the system for the human motion state reaches 94%. This proves the feasibility of the human motion state recognition system based on the flexible wearable sensor. Furthermore, the system has high application potential in the field of wearable motion detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials, Structures and Manufacturing towards Soft Electronics)
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15 pages, 1716 KiB  
Article
A Composite Microfiber for Biodegradable Stretchable Electronics
by Adeela Hanif, Gargi Ghosh, Montri Meeseepong, Hamna Haq Chouhdry, Atanu Bag, M. V. Chinnamani, Surjeet Kumar, Muhammad Junaid Sultan, Anupama Yadav and Nae-Eung Lee
Micromachines 2021, 12(9), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12091036 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4135
Abstract
Biodegradable stretchable electronics have demonstrated great potential for future applications in stretchable electronics and can be resorbed, dissolved, and disintegrated in the environment. Most biodegradable electronic devices have used flexible biodegradable materials, which have limited conformality in wearable and implantable devices. Here, we [...] Read more.
Biodegradable stretchable electronics have demonstrated great potential for future applications in stretchable electronics and can be resorbed, dissolved, and disintegrated in the environment. Most biodegradable electronic devices have used flexible biodegradable materials, which have limited conformality in wearable and implantable devices. Here, we report a biodegradable, biocompatible, and stretchable composite microfiber of poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) for transient stretchable device applications. Compositing high-strength PVA with stretchable and biodegradable PGS with poor processability, formability, and mechanical strength overcomes the limits of pure PGS. As an application, the stretchable microfiber-based strain sensor developed by the incorporation of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) into a composite microfiber showed stable current response under cyclic and dynamic stretching at 30% strain. The sensor also showed the ability to monitor the strain produced by tapping, bending, and stretching of the finger, knee, and esophagus. The biodegradable and stretchable composite materials of PGS with additive PVA have great potential for use in transient and environmentally friendly stretchable electronics with reduced environmental footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials, Structures and Manufacturing towards Soft Electronics)
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