Wearable materials are often stretchable, flexible, and can conform to the human body. Electronics, on the other hand, are mostly rigid. Stretchable electronics are an integral step toward wearable, integrated electronic devices.
In their article in Advanced Materials, Dr. Jae-Min Hong from Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Korea University of Science and Technology, and colleagues from Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) and Korea University fabricate ultrastretchable conductors on hybrid hydrogel–elastomer substrates.
Silver–elastomer ink was printed onto a water-soluble tape, then transferred onto a stretchable elastomer–hydrogel substrate. The hybrid conductive film showed superior stretchability up to 18.8 times its original length.
The stretchable electrode could be used in the wiring of a light-emitting diode (LED) and stretched to a strain of 200%. A biocompatible skin-like patch was also fabricated using the elastic conductor, which remained fully operational when bent under natural human movements.