Researchers at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency have developed stretchable, tough electronics that could be incorporated into clothing, transforming wearable technology. The new technology is embedded in a rubber matrix with carbon nanotubes, resulting in a material consisting of hydrocarbon polymers and long single-walled carbon nanotubes arranged in a network structure. The researchers found the new material retains both the electrical conductivity of the nanotubes and the softness of rubber.
"Although previous reports have demonstrated one or two aspects of robustness, our aim was to develop a wearable device that could tolerate all the 'punishments' our clothes experience, for example, stretching, bending, and twisting, as well as compression, impact, and laundering," the researchers say. "To date, this level and diversity of robustness have never been reported for any electronic device." The researchers note the material has 110-percent elasticity and will still work even after being hammered, run over by a car, and stepped on with high-heeled shoes.
The transistors could be used in "health monitors, wearable communication devices, robotic skins, and so on," says AIST researcher Atsuko Sekiguchi.
From IDG News Service
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