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Textile-integrated three-dimensional printed and embroidered structures for wearable wireless platforms

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Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalTextile Research Journal
Volume89
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

In this paper, we present fabrication and performance evaluation of three-dimensional (3D) printed and embroidered textile-integrated passive ultra high frequency radio frequency identification (RFID) platforms. The antennas were manufactured by 3D printing a stretchable silver conductor directly on an elastic band. The electric and mechanical joint between the 3D printed antennas and microchips was formed by gluing with conductive epoxy glue, by printing the antenna directly on top of the microchip structure, and by embroidering with conductive yarn. Initially, all types of fabricated RFID tags achieved read ranges of 8–9 meters. Next, the components were tested for wetting as well as for harsh cyclic strain and bending. The immersing and cyclic bending slightly affected the performance of the tags. However, they did not stop the tags from working in an acceptable way, nor did they have any permanent effect. The epoxy-glued or 3D printed antenna–microchip interconnections were not able to endure harsh stretching. On the other hand, the tags with the embroidered antenna–microchip interconnections showed excellent wireless performance, both during and after a 100 strong stretching cycles. Thus, the novel approach of combining 3D printing and embroidery seems to be a promising way to fabricate textile-integrated wireless platforms.

Keywords

  • antennas, embroidery, interconnections, passive ultra high frequency radio frequency identification, stretchable electronics, textile-integrated electronics, three-dimensional printing, wearable platforms

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