Liquid Metal Ink as Stretchable Conductive Traces in Wearable Electronics Applications
Lindsay Hampo, Zachary Jon Kranz
As electronics become more integrated into every aspect of our daily lives, one limiting factor is the rigidity of electronics. However, recent developments of liquid metal inks have proven capable of creating flexible and stretchable electronic circuits. This work centers on a room temperature gallium-indium based metal ink which has been demonstrated to have high conductivity, negligible resistance change under strain and consistent performance over many strain cycles. These features are key for applications such as soft robotics and wearable electronics. We demonstrate the feasibility of liquid metal ink for conductive traces in wearable applications by blade coating the ink onto thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and utilizing a heat press to bond the TPU and traces directly onto fabric. Resistance measurements are performed under both static and strain conditions using uniaxial stretching methods. Further development allows for the interfacing of the conductive ink traces with rigid electronics such as microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators to create initial prototypes of wearable electronics.
Alex M. Watson
Primary Advisor's Department
Chemical and Materials Engineering
Stander Symposium project, School of Engineering
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Good Health and Well-Being; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
"Liquid Metal Ink as Stretchable Conductive Traces in Wearable Electronics Applications" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2726.