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Sensors (Basel). 2018 Aug 14;18(8). pii: E2673. doi: 10.3390/s18082673.

One-Step Laser Encapsulation of Nano-Cracking Strain Sensors.

Author information

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. cksdl4608@naver.com.
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. gustjr33333@naver.com.
3
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. goohala9191@naver.com.
4
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. ghdwjdgkr123@naver.com.
5
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. guddnr252@naver.com.
6
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. scho@cnu.ac.kr.

Abstract

Development of flexible strain sensors that can be attached directly onto the skin, such as skin-mountable or wearable electronic devices, has recently attracted attention. However, such flexible sensors are generally exposed to various harsh environments, such as sweat, humidity, or dust, which cause noise and shorten the sensor lifetimes. This study reports the development of a nano-crack-based flexible sensor with mechanically, thermally, and chemically stable electrical characteristics in external environments using a novel one-step laser encapsulation (OLE) method optimized for thin films. The OLE process allows simultaneous patterning, cutting, and encapsulating of a device using laser cutting and thermoplastic polymers. The processes are simplified for economical and rapid production (one sensor in 8 s). Unlike other encapsulation methods, OLE does not degrade the performance of the sensor because the sensing layers remain unaffected. Sensors protected with OLE exhibit mechanical, thermal, and chemical stability under water-, heat-, dust-, and detergent-exposed conditions. Finally, a waterproof, flexible strain sensor is developed to detect motions around the eye, where oil and sweat are generated. OLE-based sensors can be used in several applications that are exposed to a large amount of foreign matter, such as humid or sweaty environments.

KEYWORDS:

laser encapsulation; sealing; strain sensor; waterproof and dustproof sensor

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