Paper title: Flexible Hybrid Electronics: Direct Interfacing of Soft and Hard Electronics for Wearable Health Monitoring
Abstract: The interfacing of soft and hard electronics is a key challenge for flexible hybrid electronics. Currently, a multisubstrate approach is employed, where soft and hard devices are fabricated or assembled on separate substrates, and bonded or interfaced using connectors; this hinders the flexibility of the device and is prone to interconnect issues. Here, a single substrate interfacing approach is reported, where soft devices, i.e., sensors, are directly printed on Kapton polyimide substrates that are widely used for fabricating flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs). Utilizing a process flow compatible with the FPCB assembly process, a wearable sensor patch is fabricated composed of inkjet-printed gold electrocardiography (ECG) electrodes and a stencil-printed nickel oxide thermistor. The ECG electrodes provide 1 mVp–p ECG signal at 4.7 cm electrode spacing and the thermistor is highly sensitive at normal body temperatures, and demonstrates temperature coefficient, α ≈ –5.84% K–1 and material constant, β ≈ 4330 K. This sensor platform can be extended to a more sophisticated multisensor platform where sensors fabricated using solution processable functional inks can be interfaced to hard electronics for health and performance monitoring, as well as internet of things applications.
Flexible Hybrid Electronics: Direct Interfacing of Soft and Hard Electronics for Wearable Health Monitoring Advanced Functional Materials, 2016 26, 47.