Robust, self-adhesive, reinforced polymeric nanofilms enabling gas-permeable dry electrodes for long-term application


Yan Wang, Sunghoon Lee, Haoyang Wang, Zhi Jiang, Yasutoshi Jimbo, Chunya Wang, Binghao Wang, Jae Joon Kim, Mari Koizumi, Tomoyuki Yokota, and Takao Someya


Robust polymeric nanofilms can be used to construct gas-permeable soft electronics that can directly adhere to soft biological tissue for continuous, long-term biosignal monitoring. However, it is challenging to fabricate gas-permeable dry electrodes that can self-adhere to the human skin and retain their functionality for long-term (>1 d) health monitoring. We have succeeded in developing an extraordinarily robust, self-adhesive, gas-permeable nanofilm with a thickness of only 95 nm. It exhibits an extremely high skin adhesion energy per unit area of 159 μJ/cm2. The nanofilm can self-adhere to the human skin by van der Waals forces alone, for 1 wk, without any adhesive materials or tapes. The nanofilm is ultradurable, and it can support liquids that are 79,000 times heavier than its own weight with a tensile stress of 7.82 MPa. The advantageous features of its thinness, self-adhesiveness, and robustness enable a gas-permeable dry electrode comprising of a nanofilm and an Au layer, resulting in a continuous monitoring of electrocardiogram signals with a high signal-to-noise ratio (34 dB) for 1 wk.