According to reports, there has been new progress in wearable device research, and American researchers have developed a transistor made of flax fiber that can be used to weave into a fabric.
The official website of Tufts University recently announced that researchers at the school have developed a transistor made of flax fiber. The fully flexible electronic device made of these transistors can be woven into a fabric and worn on the skin, and even (theoretically) can be surgically implanted for diagnostic monitoring. And related results were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society - Applied Materials and Interfaces.
The researchers say that the newly designed transistors can be made into simple, fiber-based logic circuit and integrated circuits. These circuits will replace the last remaining rigid components in many flexible electronic devices, combined with fiber-based sensors to create fully flexible multiplexing devices. This fully flexible electronic device allows for a variety of applications to suit different shapes and allows for free movement without affecting functionality.
Nowadays, most flexible electronic devices achieve flexibility by patterning metals and semiconductors into flexible "wavy" structures or using flexible materials such as conductive polymers for compatibility with the biological tissue (skin, heart, and even brain tissue) in which they are embedded.
In the experiment, the researchers used fiber-based transistors to create a simple small integrated circuit that was connected to a fiber-based sensor array to monitor changes in sodium and ammonium concentrations(important biomarkers for cardiovascular health, liver and kidney function) across multiple sites.
An important innovation in this study was the use of a gel that infused the electrolyte as a material around the fiber and connected to the gate line. The gel consists of silica nanoparticles, which can self-assemble into a network structure. And the electrolyte gel can be easily deposited on the fibers by dip coating or rapid wiping. Compared to the solid oxide or polymer used as a gate material in a classic transistor, the electrolyte gel is elastic under tension or bending.
Researchers say fiber-based electronics offer superior flexibility, material versatility, and the ability to produce without a clean room compared to electronics based on polymers and other flexible materials. In the future, fiber-based electronic diagnostic devices can be made very thin, flexible, and flexible enough to integrate seamlessly with the biological tissue they measure, making it almost impossible for patients to notice.