Scientist Boise State University, INFlex Labs, ID, United States
Low sintering and biocompatible conductive metal inks are highly attractive to the growing flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) market and wearable health care diagnostics applications. However, the temperature sensitivity of common flexible substrates and biocompatibility of the inks are two challenges that prevent FHE technology from being mainstreamed into consumer applications. This work focuses on the development of multi-jet printer compatible gold nanoparticle inks and the development of epidermal electronic tattoos (e-tattoos) for noninvasive health care diagnostic devices. Detailed analysis on the material characterization, ink properties, and printing parameters for multiple printer modalities including Ink Jet printing (IJP), Aerosol Jet printing (AJP), and Plasma Jet printing (PJP) are performed. Also, low-temperature photonic sintering and in-situ plasma sintering of the printed nanomaterials on a wide variety of substrates are studied for achieving bulk-like performances for the printed structures. Finally, multiple biocompatible epidermal sensors are developed using scalable additive manufacturing and post-processing procedures. These non-invasive sensors may be used to measure electrical activities of the muscle, heart, and brain obtaining continuous monitoring and real-time data of the subjects for better diagnostics.