Stretchable electronics are a new, emerging class of electronic devices that can conform to complex non-planar and deformable surfaces such as human organs, textiles, and robotics. Functional fillers incorporated with elastic polymers form composites for use in intrinsically stretchable electronics. These composites can be amenable to high-throughput, low-cost, additive printing technologies that include screen, inkjet, flexography, and 3D printing. However, the properties of the functional and elastic materials used to date have been mutually antagonistic, thus limiting achievement of state-of-the-art functional properties and high elasticity. The present invention relates to the development of random composite inks using triblock copolymer for stretchable electronics. The key novelty offered here is the ability to tolerate higher loadings of inelastic, functional materials without sacrificing the elastic properties of the ink.
UC San Diego researchers have developed compositions, fabrication methods and articles of manufacture that pertain to soft triblock copolymers as a hyperelastic binder for the synthesis of elastic, functional inks. Functionalities for inks can range from conductors, insulators, and semiconductors using both inorganic and/or organic functional fillers. The invention thus enables printed stretchable devices of various types, e.g., conductive, photovoltaic, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, light-emitting, electrochemical/physical sensing, supercapacitor, energy storage. Such devices can be printed on textile or skin for applications that require comfort and high performance under deformation.
A specific example was demonstrated for a stretchable, zinc-silver (I) oxide rechargeable battery using polystyrene-polyisoprene-polystyrene as binder for elastic, electroactive inks. This multi-component device involves the synthesis of multiple elastic inks with composite metal/metal oxide powders (carbon black, zinc, silver (I) oxide) for its respective functionality. The stretchable battery can be used to self-power stretchable electronics through various deformations such as 100% stretching, twisting, and indentations.
The invention is suitable for printed stretchable devices/ applications that require comfort and high performance under deformation.
The key improvement offered by this invention is the ability to tolerate higher loadings of inelastic, functional materials without sacrificing the elastic properties of the ink.
A working prototype has been demonstrated that consists of a printed, stretchable, rechargeable AgZn battery with 100% stretchability.
A provisional patent has been submitted.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,143,081||11/27/2018||2017-060|
|United States Of America||Published Application||20190159337||05/23/2019||2017-060|
|Patent Cooperation Treaty||Published Application||2018094409||05/24/2018||2017-060|
printed electronics, stretchable electronics, stretchable battery, wearables, triblock copolymers, functional inks, conductive inks, polymers, composites