Wearable Devices to Incorporate Flexible Nanosensors

Published Date : Feb 26, 2015

A group of researchers and scientists from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) have developed a way of manufacturing optical nanosensors on regular adhesive tapes. Over and above that the researchers have also demonstrated the various potential applications of the same. flexible nanosensors are basically used for measuring variations in refractive indices brought about in the surrounding area and medium; this is mostly used for detecting chemical substances. Apart from that, these exhibit iridescent hues that often tend to differ as per the angle of illumination and viewing. This particular feature helps to detect variations in positions and also the topography of the surface on which these are stuck to.

Nanosensors contain nanohole arrays (dimensional) that are drilled onto aluminum layers that generally are of thickness 100 nm. For creating iridescence effects and sensitivity to the neighboring medium, the nanostructures are mostly confined and spread light based on the engineer’s will who has designed these. The technique for creating flexible nanostructure involves two main things: the manufacturing of sensors on compact discs made of conventional polycarbonate and the transmission of these particular sensors on the Scotch tapes via simple stick and peel technique. By doing this, the nanosensors can move from the surface of the CD to the flexible substrate.

This newly developed technology makes use of inexpensive inputs which are the conventional adhesive tapes, aluminum, and CDs. It is however a common practice to use noble metals for producing different types of sensors. But large scale production of these doesn’t prove to be cost effective since these noble metals are quite expensive. It has been observed that aluminum is almost 25000 times less expensive as against gold and possesses excellent optical and electrical properties.