Liquid alloy printing of microfluidic stretchable electronics.Lab Chip. 2012 Nov 21; 12(22):4657-64.LC
Recently, microfluidic stretchable electronics has attracted great interest from academia since conductive liquids allow for larger cross-sections when stretched and hence low resistance at longer lengths. However, as a serial process it has suffered from low throughput, and a parallel processing technology is needed for more complex systems and production at low costs. In this work, we demonstrate such a technology to implement microfluidic electronics by stencil printing of a liquid alloy onto a semi-cured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate, assembly of rigid active components, encapsulation by pouring uncured PDMS on-top and subsequent curing. The printing showed resolution of 200 μm and linear resistance increase of the liquid conductors when elongated up to 60%. No significant change of resistance was shown for a circuit with one LED after 1000 times of cycling between a 0% and an elongation of 60% every 2 s. A radio frequency identity (RFID) tag was demonstrated using the developed technology, showing that good performance could be maintained well into the radio frequency (RF) range.