University of Manchester

Imaging Inkjet Printed Sensor Structures on Textile Substrates

Zixin Wang

Scientific Case

Wearable sensors have a number of potential applications for health and environmental monitoring. Achieving this goal requires the incorporation of electronic devices and functional materials onto or into garments. This project will investigate the use of textile substrates for sensors and other devices. It will study the fundamentals of ink spreading and penetration into fibrous substrates considering both woven and non-woven materials. Current studies have been confined to surface or cross section images using SEM. X-ray tomographic images can explore the penetration and spreading behaviour of conductive inks on textile substrate in 3D non-destructively and complement destructive serial sectioning methods. The 3D images will enable a better understanding of the interaction of the interior fibre structure with the penetration pathways of the ink.. The project will focus on Investigating the effects of pore sizes generated by the spaces between fibre tows and the finer pore structure within the tows generated by inter-fibre packing. We will also consider how surface treatment influences ink wettability and penetration of the textile structure.
Wearable technology

Experiment Design

The feature to look at through X-ray CT is the silver ink droplet penetration in the porous textile substrates. We plan to use Nikon Custom Bay (4mm sample size ~4um spatial resolution) and Versa (0.6, 1/2mm ~0.7-2um resolution) for one sample each to compare the results for a better choice, and if they both not working well then use the sample under Ultra (60um specimen size ~50nm resolution). Among one of them, we will carry out the rest of experiments with ink printed on cotton, polyester fabrics, water-repellent treated cotton and polyester fabrics, and 3 different density of cotton fabrics. We will also run each sample with duplicate of each condition.
Scanners and Rigs
Nikon Custom 320kV Bay
Not Required
Try under Nikon Custom 320kV Bay, Versa and Ultra for one scane each, and make the decision for the rest of 13 scans. In total 16 scans.
Xradia VersaXCT
Not Required
Xradia Ultra XCT
Not Required

Sample & Safety

Nanoparticle silver ink printed on cotton/polyester fabrics
Nanoparticle silver ink printed on treated cotton/polyester fabric
Nanoparticle silver ink printed on 3 different density cotton fabrics.
Low Hazard

Scan Records

Project Report