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Advanced functional materials: variable stiffness silk fibroin for highly stretchable electron transfer

In recent years the development of flexible electronic materials is very rapid the integration of flexible electronic materials devices with human body has become a research hotspot which usually requires materials with good tensile properties. However the transfer of stretchable electronic materials has become a difficult problem. The transfer of stretchable electronic materials or devices usually requires the use of a soft seal. During the transfer process the interface between the seal the substrate may produce great strain which will damage the transferred materials then lose their functions. If a hard seal is used the problem can be effectively avoided but the next transfer is needed.

recently Guo chuanfei research group of South University of science technology has successfully solved this problem by adjusting the stiffness of seal material. During transfer the seal maintains high stiffness greatly reducing the strain of electronic materials or devices during transfer. After transfer the seal material is softened by water absorption directly used as the substrate of skin electrode. The seal material they used is called silk fibroin which is the natural protein left by the cocoon after removing sericin. It has a very large range of variable stiffness under different relative humidity. The specific strategy is to apply the electrode to the skin keep the relative humidity between 1.84 MPa 1.84 MPa. This electrode has a lower interface impedance than the commonly used Ag-AgCl commercial gel electrode. In the EMG test the noise level is only 1/10 of the commercial electrode can be attached to the skin for up to 10 days without causing any discomfort. This work provides a new idea method for the transfer of flexible electronic materials through a simple variable stiffness method.

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