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Silk as the IoT wearable sensor ideal material,conductivity as the primary goal

Nov 13, 2017

From smart socks to fitness gowns, garments equipped with sensors to monitor human health are gaining in popularity and scientists are looking at replacing semiconductors with silk as a material for making IoT wearable sensors. One of the foreseeable possibilities is to act as an integrated wireless system that makes it easier for physicians to monitor patients remotely and to address the patient's medical needs more quickly than ever before.

    According to Science Daily, a research team at Tsinghua University in Beijing reported its experimental work at the 254th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in August 2017 with the goal of using silk as a material for manufacturing wearable devices with higher sensitivity and elasticity Body sensor. Based on the initial results, researchers hope to find ways to further develop a self-contained set of integrated sensors driven by a nano-generator (Nano-generator) that uses silk as its material.

    Wearable body sensors have become the latest must-have technology with great potential for growth. However, the inherent limitations of semiconductor products, ductility and flexibility, especially in the manufacture of wearable body sensors, can not take into account the sensitivity and ductility.

    The strength of silk is stronger than that of steel, the elasticity is better than Nylon, it is biocompatible and has the advantages of light weight. It is an ideal material for developing a new generation of multi-purpose wearable sensor with high sensitivity and ductility. Real-time monitoring of various body functions.

    The team said there is great potential for silk sensors today, and suggests that it may be possible to build more realistic robots that sense touch, temperature or humidity and even distinguish between different human voices. However, poor conductivity of silk, researchers in order to solve this key issue, a variety of tests, hoping to find out can enhance the conductivity of silk, to reach the level enough to apply to the body sensing device.

    One of the first attempts by researchers has placed silk in an inert atmosphere of 1,112 to 5,432 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby impregnating the silk with N-doped carbon and some graphitized particles. Using these conductive silk threads, researchers developed pressure sensors, dual-mode sensors that measure both pressure and temperature, and strain sensors that measure force changes.

    The second way researchers try to mix silk into Graphene or Carbon Nanotube, which naturally contains some of the nanoparticles in silk, has so far failed to produce in this way Conductive silk, but researchers have not given up experiment, hoping eventually to successfully produce conductive silk in this way.