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Responsive, 3D Electronics Enabled by Liquid Crystal Elastomer Substrates

  • Hyun Kim
    Hyun Kim
    Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, United States
    More by Hyun Kim
  • John Gibson
    John Gibson
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33174, United States
    More by John Gibson
  • Jimin Maeng
    Jimin Maeng
    Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, United States
    More by Jimin Maeng
  • Mohand O. Saed
    Mohand O. Saed
    Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, United States
  • Krystine Pimentel
    Krystine Pimentel
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33174, United States
  • Rashed T. Rihani
    Rashed T. Rihani
    Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, United States
  • Joseph J. Pancrazio
    Joseph J. Pancrazio
    Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, United States
  • Stavros V. Georgakopoulos
    Stavros V. Georgakopoulos
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33174, United States
  • , and 
  • Taylor H. Ware*
    Taylor H. Ware
    Department of Bioengineering, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75080, United States
    *E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11, 21, 19506–19513
Publication Date (Web):May 9, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b04189
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Traditional electronic devices are rigid, planar, and mechanically static. The combination of traditional electronic materials and responsive polymer substrates is of significant interest to provide opportunities to replace conventional electronic devices with stretchable, 3D, and responsive electronics. Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are well suited to function as such dynamic substrates because of their large strain, reversible stimulus response that can be controlled through directed self-assembly of molecular order. Here, we discuss using LCEs as substrates for electronic devices that are flat during processing but then morph into controlled 3D structures. We design and demonstrate processes for a variety of electronic devices on LCEs including deformation-tolerant conducting traces and capacitors and cold temperature-responsive antennas. For example, patterning twisted nematic orientation within the substrate can be used to create helical electronic devices that stretch up to 100% with less than 2% change in resistance or capacitance. Moreover, we discuss self-morphing LCE antennas which can dynamically change the operating frequency from 2.7 GHz (room temperature) to 3.3 GHz (−65 °C). We envision applications for these 3D, responsive devices in wearable or implantable electronics and in cold-chain monitoring radio frequency identification sensors.

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    Supporting Information

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b04189.

    • Experimental details of LCE substrate and device preparation; LCE shape as controlled by polymerization temperature, polarized optical micrographs of LCEs with patterned director orientation,  macroscopic deformation of LCE devices, capacitance as a function of voltage bias, capacitance as a function of strain, antenna fabrication, effect of metal on 3D shape;and antenna analysis (PDF)

    • Unwinding and rewinding of the helical inversion device during deformation (MP4)

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