Special Issue "Recent Advances in Soft Electronics and Ionics"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Reza Montazami
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2094 Black Engineering Building, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-2023, USA
Interests: mechanics and advanced manufacturing of soft, organic, and transient electronics and ionics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As electronic devices are getting more and more integrated into our everyday activities, the need to minimize mechanical mismatch between electronic devices (rigid by nature) and biological systems (soft by nature) is becoming more eminent. There is a broad range of applications for soft, flexible, and stretchable electronic devices in a variety of fields of research, including biomedical, sensing, actuation, energy storage, energy harvesting, hardware security, military, athletics, and rehabilitation. The deformability of such electronic devices is, however, counterintuitive to the physical and dimensional stability that is required for the stable operation of electronic devices.

Recent innovative approaches and game-changing discoveries, including high-resolution and high-fidelity print-base additive manufacturing of electronics, advances in ionic devices and ion-to-electron transducers, and design of novel all-organic conductive inks, have paved the way for the next generation of electronic and ionic devices capable of maintaining their electrical/ionic attributes while under physical stress and deformation. While such innovations and discoveries are at their early stage, they have paramount potentials to change how we design, manufacture, and operate electronic/ionic devices in the near future.

The ultimate goal of this Special Issue is to gather and disseminate the most innovative, impactful, and recent advances and discoveries in the field of soft electronic and ionic devices.

This Special Issue welcomes communications, full papers, and review papers reporting new discoveries and advances in the following areas of research:

  • Mechanics of printed soft electronic/ionic devices;
  • Advanced additive manufacturing (3D printing) of soft electronic/ionic devices;
  • Mechanics and advanced manufacturing of transient electronic/ionic devices and materials;
  • Mechanics and advanced manufacturing of all-organic electronic/ionic devices;
  • Advancements in integration of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent organic frameworks (COFs) in soft electronic/ionic devices;
  • Innovative and novel applications of soft electronic/ionic devices;
  • Innovative approaches to design and synthesis of new organic conjugated inks for printable soft electronic/ionic devices;
  • Soft and flexible ion-to-electron transducers.

Prof. Reza Montazami
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Soft electronics 
  • Printable electronics
  • Transient electronics 
  • Ionic devices 
  • Soft MOFs and COFs

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Active Transiency: A Novel Approach to Expedite Degradation in Transient Electronics
Materials 2020, 13(7), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13071514 (registering DOI) - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
Transient materials/electronics is an emerging class of technology concerned with materials and devices that are designed to operate over a pre-defined period of time, then undergo controlled degradation when exposed to stimuli. Degradation/transiency rate in solvent-triggered devices is strongly dependent on the chemical [...] Read more.
Transient materials/electronics is an emerging class of technology concerned with materials and devices that are designed to operate over a pre-defined period of time, then undergo controlled degradation when exposed to stimuli. Degradation/transiency rate in solvent-triggered devices is strongly dependent on the chemical composition of the constituents, as well as their interactions with the solvent upon exposure. Such interactions are typically slow, passive, and diffusion-driven. In this study, we are introducing and exploring the integration of gas-forming reactions into transient materials/electronics to achieve expedited and active transiency. The integration of more complex chemical reaction paths to transiency not only expedites the dissolution mechanism but also maintains the pre-transiency stability of the system while under operation. A proof-of-concept transient electronic device, utilizing sodium-bicarbonate/citric-acid pair as gas-forming agents, is demonstrated and studied vs. control devices in the absence of gas-forming agents. While exhibiting enhanced transiency behavior, substrates with gas-forming agents also demonstrated sufficient mechanical properties and physical stability to be used as platforms for electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Soft Electronics and Ionics)
Open AccessArticle
Study of Partially Transient Organic Epidermal Sensors
Materials 2020, 13(5), 1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13051112 - 02 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this study, an all-organic, partially transient epidermal sensor with functional poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) conjugated polymer printed onto a water-soluble polyethylene oxide (PEO) substrate is studied and presented. The sensor’s electronic properties were studied under static stress, dynamic load, and transient status. [...] Read more.
In this study, an all-organic, partially transient epidermal sensor with functional poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) conjugated polymer printed onto a water-soluble polyethylene oxide (PEO) substrate is studied and presented. The sensor’s electronic properties were studied under static stress, dynamic load, and transient status. Electrode resistance remained approximately unchanged for up to 2% strain, and increased gradually within 6.5% strain under static stress. The electronic properties’ dependence on dynamic load showed a fast response time in the range of 0.05–3 Hz, and a reversible stretching threshold of 3% strain. A transiency study showed that the PEO substrate dissolved completely in water, while the PEDOT:PSS conjugated polymer electrode remained intact. The substrate-less, intrinsically soft PEDOT:PSS electrode formed perfect contact on human skin and stayed attached by Van der Waals force, and was demonstrated as a tattoolike epidermal sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Soft Electronics and Ionics)
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Open AccessArticle
Printed Flexible Microelectrode for Application of Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields on Cells
Materials 2019, 12(17), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12172713 - 24 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Medical treatment is increasingly benefiting from biomedical microsystems, especially the trending telemedical application. A promising modality for tumor therapy showed the application of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) on cells to achieve nanoporation, cell death, and other cell reactions. A key technology for [...] Read more.
Medical treatment is increasingly benefiting from biomedical microsystems, especially the trending telemedical application. A promising modality for tumor therapy showed the application of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) on cells to achieve nanoporation, cell death, and other cell reactions. A key technology for this method is the generation of pulsed fields in the nanosecond range with high-field strengths in the range of several kilovolts per centimeter. For further biomedical applications, state-of-the-art setups need to decrease in size and improve their capability of integration into microsystems. Due to demanding electronic requirements, i.e., using high voltages and fast pulses, miniaturization and low-cost fabrication of the electrode is first considered. This paper proposes a proof-of-concept for a miniaturized printed flexible electrode that can apply nsPEF on adherent fibroblast cells. The interdigital gold electrode was printed on polyimide with line-width of about 10 µm using an electrohydrodynamic inkjet printer. Furthermore, an electrical circuit was developed to generate both electrical pulses in the nano-second range and voltages up to 180 V. The electrode was integrated into an experimental setup for in-vitro application to human fibroblasts. Field strengths up to 100 kV/cm with 45 ns pulse duration were applied, depending on the degree of cell confluence. The cells show contraction, detachment from the electrode, and lethal reactions after the nsPEF treatment. Furthermore, this printed miniaturized electrode was found to be suitable for subsequent microsystem integration and further cell experiments to optimize pulse parameters for control of cell reaction and behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Soft Electronics and Ionics)
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