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Special Issue "2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Electronic Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (16 August 2021) | Viewed by 13627

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Francisco Molina-Lopez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Engineering, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Interests: wearables; flexible electronics; stretchable electronics; printed electronics; energy harvesters; thermoelectrics; supercapacitors
Dr. Almudena Rivadeneyra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronics and Computer Technology, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Interests: sensors; electrical characterization; nanoelectronics; printed electronics, energy harvesting; energy conversion; flexible electronics; wearable electronics; biomedical sensor applications; RFID technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the Special Issue of Sensors entitled "2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics". In this Special Issue, we want to collect a number of contributions to explore novel materials, techniques, and applications related to 2D/3D printed electronics. A non-comprehensive list of possible topics includes synthesis and characterization of 0D to 3D printable materials for sensing and actuating applications, fabrication technologies for printed sensors and electronic devices, and innovative applications of 2D/3D printed electronics.

In this Special Issue of Sensors, we invite authors to submit original communications, articles, and reviews on sensing devices and systems where 2D/3D printing techniques are involved. We are looking forward to your contributions and fruitful discussions.


Prof. Dr. Francisco Molina Lopez
Dr. Almudena Rivadeneyra
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sensors 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 2400 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

  • 3D printing
  • Inkjet printing
  • Screen printing
  • Roll-to-roll techniques
  • Spray deposition
  • Laser scribing
  • Sensors
  • Actuators
  • Energy harvesters
  • Supercapacitors

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Sensing Capacity in Dysprosium Metal–Organic Frameworks Based on 5-Aminoisophthalic Acid Ligand
Sensors 2022, 22(9), 3392; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22093392 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Two novel metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), based on dysprosium as the metal and the 5-aminoisophthalic acid (5aip) ligand, have been solvothermally synthesized, with the aim of studying and modulating their luminescence properties according to the variation of solvent in the structure. These materials display [...] Read more.
Two novel metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), based on dysprosium as the metal and the 5-aminoisophthalic acid (5aip) ligand, have been solvothermally synthesized, with the aim of studying and modulating their luminescence properties according to the variation of solvent in the structure. These materials display intense photo-luminescence properties in the solid state at room temperature. Interestingly, one fascinating sensory capacity of compound 2 regards obtaining a variation of the signal, depending on the solvent to which it is exposed. These results pave the way for a new generation of sensitive chemical sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Selectivity of Relative Humidity Using a CP Based on S-Block Metal Ions
Sensors 2022, 22(4), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22041664 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Herein, we present the syntheses of a novel coordination polymer (CP) based on the perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylate (pery) linkers and sodium metal ions. We have chosen sodium metal center with the aim of surmising the effect that the modification of the metal ion may have [...] Read more.
Herein, we present the syntheses of a novel coordination polymer (CP) based on the perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylate (pery) linkers and sodium metal ions. We have chosen sodium metal center with the aim of surmising the effect that the modification of the metal ion may have on the relative humidity (RH) experimental measurements of the material. We confirm the role of the ions in the functionalization of the deposited layer by modifying their selectivity towards moisture content, paving the way to the generation of sensitive and selective chemical sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Laser-Induced Graphene Electrodes Modified with a Molecularly Imprinted Polymer for Detection of Tetracycline in Milk and Meat
Sensors 2022, 22(1), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22010269 - 30 Dec 2021
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Tetracycline (TC) is a widely known antibiotic used worldwide to treat animals. Its residues in animal-origin foods cause adverse health effects to consumers. Low-cost and real-time measuring systems of TC in food samples are, therefore, extremely needed. In this work, a three-electrode sensitive [...] Read more.
Tetracycline (TC) is a widely known antibiotic used worldwide to treat animals. Its residues in animal-origin foods cause adverse health effects to consumers. Low-cost and real-time measuring systems of TC in food samples are, therefore, extremely needed. In this work, a three-electrode sensitive and label-free sensor was developed to detect TC residues from milk and meat extract samples, using CO2 laser-induced graphene (LIG) electrodes modified with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) used as a synthetic biorecognition element. LIG was patterned on a polyimide (PI) substrate, reaching a minimum sheet resistance (Rsh) of 17.27 ± 1.04 Ω/sq. The o-phenylenediamine (oPD) monomer and TC template were electropolymerized on the surface of the LIG working electrode to form the MIP. Surface morphology and electrochemical techniques were used to characterize the formation of LIG and to confirm each modification step. The sensitivity of the sensor was evaluated by differential pulse voltammetry (DPV), leading to a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.32 nM, 0.85 nM, and 0.80 nM in buffer, milk, and meat extract samples, respectively, with a working range of 5 nM to 500 nM and a linear response range between 10 nM to 300 nM. The sensor showed good LOD (0.32 nM), reproducibility, and stability, and it can be used as an alternative system to detect TC from animal-origin food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Pad-Printing as a Fabrication Process for Flexible and Compact Multilayer Circuits
Sensors 2021, 21(20), 6802; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21206802 - 13 Oct 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to present a newly developed process for the fabrication of multilayer circuits based on the pad-printing technique. Even though the maturity level, in terms of accuracy, substrate type and print size of several printing industrial processes is [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to present a newly developed process for the fabrication of multilayer circuits based on the pad-printing technique. Even though the maturity level, in terms of accuracy, substrate type and print size of several printing industrial processes is relatively high, the fabrication complexity of multilayer printed electronics remains relatively high. Due to its versatility, the pad-printing technique allows the superposition of printed conductive and insulating layers. Compared to other printing processes, its main advantage is the ability to print on various substrates even on flexible, curved or irregular surfaces. Silver-based inks were used for the formulation of conductive layers while UV inks were employed to fulfil the functionality of the insulating layers. To demonstrate the functionality of the pad-printing results, a multilayer test pattern has been designed and printed on Kapton®. Furthermore, to demonstrate the efficacy of this approach, a multilayer circuit composed of three stacked layers has been designed and printed on various substrates including Kapton®, paper and wood. This electronic circuit controls an array of LEDs through the manipulation of a two-key capacitive touch sensor. This study, allowed us to define recommendations for the different parameters leading to high printing quality. We expect a long-term beneficial impact of this study towards a low-cost, fast, and environmental-friendly production of printed electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Inkjet-Printed and Electroplated 3D Electrodes for Recording Extracellular Signals in Cell Culture
Sensors 2021, 21(12), 3981; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21123981 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Recent investigations into cardiac or nervous tissues call for systems that are able to electrically record in 3D as opposed to 2D. Typically, challenging microfabrication steps are required to produce 3D microelectrode arrays capable of recording at the desired position within the tissue [...] Read more.
Recent investigations into cardiac or nervous tissues call for systems that are able to electrically record in 3D as opposed to 2D. Typically, challenging microfabrication steps are required to produce 3D microelectrode arrays capable of recording at the desired position within the tissue of interest. As an alternative, additive manufacturing is becoming a versatile platform for rapidly prototyping novel sensors with flexible geometric design. In this work, 3D MEAs for cell-culture applications were fabricated using a piezoelectric inkjet printer. The aspect ratio and height of the printed 3D electrodes were user-defined by adjusting the number of deposited droplets of silver nanoparticle ink along with a continuous printing method and an appropriate drop-to-drop delay. The Ag 3D MEAs were later electroplated with Au and Pt in order to reduce leakage of potentially cytotoxic silver ions into the cellular medium. The functionality of the array was confirmed using impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and recordings of extracellular potentials from cardiomyocyte-like HL-1 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Modelling of Anisotropic Electrical Conduction in Layered Structures 3D-Printed with Fused Deposition Modelling
Sensors 2021, 21(11), 3710; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21113710 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
3D-printing conductive structures have recently been receiving increased attention, especially in the field of 3D-printed sensors. However, the printing processes introduce anisotropic electrical properties due to the infill and bonding conditions. Insights into the electrical conduction that results from the anisotropic electrical properties [...] Read more.
3D-printing conductive structures have recently been receiving increased attention, especially in the field of 3D-printed sensors. However, the printing processes introduce anisotropic electrical properties due to the infill and bonding conditions. Insights into the electrical conduction that results from the anisotropic electrical properties are currently limited. Therefore, this research focuses on analytically modeling the electrical conduction. The electrical properties are described as an electrical network with bulk and contact properties in and between neighbouring printed track elements or traxels. The model studies both meandering and open-ended traxels through the application of the corresponding boundary conditions. The model equations are solved as an eigenvalue problem, yielding the voltage, current density, and power dissipation density for every position in every traxel. A simplified analytical example and Finite Element Method simulations verify the model, which depict good correspondence. The main errors found are due to the limitations of the model with regards to 2D-conduction in traxels and neglecting the resistance of meandering ends. Three dimensionless numbers are introduced for the verification and analysis: the anisotropy ratio, the aspect ratio, and the number of traxels. Conductive behavior between completely isotropic and completely anisotropic can be modeled, depending on the dimensionless properties. Furthermore, this model can be used to explain the properties of certain 3D-printed sensor structures, like constriction-resistive strain sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Development of Soft sEMG Sensing Structures Using 3D-Printing Technologies
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4292; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154292 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2205
Abstract
3D printing of soft EMG sensing structures enables the creation of personalized sensing structures that can be potentially integrated in prosthetic, assistive and other devices. We developed and characterized flexible carbon-black doped TPU-based sEMG sensing structures. The structures are directly 3D-printed without the [...] Read more.
3D printing of soft EMG sensing structures enables the creation of personalized sensing structures that can be potentially integrated in prosthetic, assistive and other devices. We developed and characterized flexible carbon-black doped TPU-based sEMG sensing structures. The structures are directly 3D-printed without the need for an additional post-processing step using a low-cost, consumer grade multi-material FDM printer. A comparison between the gold standard Ag/AgCl gel electrodes and the 3D-printed EMG electrodes with a comparable contact area shows that there is no significant difference in the EMG signals’ amplitude. The sensors are capable of distinguishing a variable level of muscle activity of the biceps brachii. Furthermore, as a proof of principle, sEMG data of a 3D-printed 8-electrode band are analyzed using a patten recognition algorithm to recognize hand gestures. This work shows that 3D-printed sEMG electrodes have great potential in practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Article
Design and Development of a Fully Printed Accelerometer with a Carbon Paste-Based Strain Gauge
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3395; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123395 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1707
Abstract
In this paper, we present a fully printed accelerometer with a piezoresistive carbon paste-based strain gauge printed on its surface, which can be manufactured at low cost and with high efficiency. This accelerometer is composed of two parts: a sensor substrate made from [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a fully printed accelerometer with a piezoresistive carbon paste-based strain gauge printed on its surface, which can be manufactured at low cost and with high efficiency. This accelerometer is composed of two parts: a sensor substrate made from high-temperature resin, which is printed by a 3D printer based on stereolithography apparatus (SLA), and a carbon paste-based strain gauge fabricated by screen-printing technology and by direct ink writing (DIW) technology for the purposes of comparison and optimization. First, the structural design, theoretical analysis, simulation analysis of the accelerometer, and analyses of the conductive mechanism and the piezoresistive mechanism of the carbon paste-based strain gauge were carried out. Then the proposed accelerometer was fabricated by a combination of different printing technologies and the curing conditions of the carbon paste were investigated. After that, the accelerometers with the screen-printed strain gauge and DIW strain gauge were characterized. The results show that the printing precision of the screen-printing process on the sensor substrate is higher than the DIW process, and both accelerometers can perform acceleration measurement. Also, this kind of accelerometer can be used in the field of measuring body motion. All these findings prove that 3D printing technology is a significant method for sensor fabrication and verification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Review

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Review
A Review on Humidity, Temperature and Strain Printed Sensors—Current Trends and Future Perspectives
Sensors 2021, 21(3), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21030739 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
Printing technologies have been attracting increasing interest in the manufacture of electronic devices and sensors. They offer a unique set of advantages such as additive material deposition and low to no material waste, digitally-controlled design and printing, elimination of multiple steps for device [...] Read more.
Printing technologies have been attracting increasing interest in the manufacture of electronic devices and sensors. They offer a unique set of advantages such as additive material deposition and low to no material waste, digitally-controlled design and printing, elimination of multiple steps for device manufacturing, wide material compatibility and large scale production to name but a few. Some of the most popular and interesting sensors are relative humidity, temperature and strain sensors. In that regard, this review analyzes the utilization and involvement of printing technologies for full or partial sensor manufacturing; production methods, material selection, sensing mechanisms and performance comparison are presented for each category, while grouping of sensor sub-categories is performed in all applicable cases. A key aim of this review is to provide a reference for sensor designers regarding all the aforementioned parameters, by highlighting strengths and weaknesses for different approaches in printed humidity, temperature and strain sensor manufacturing with printing technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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Other

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Letter
Optimization of Cost-Effective and Reproducible Flexible Humidity Sensors Based on Metal-Organic Frameworks
Sensors 2020, 20(23), 6981; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20236981 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
In this letter, we present the extension of a previous work on a cost-effective method for fabricating highly sensitive humidity sensors on flexible substrates with a reversible response, allowing precise monitoring of the humidity threshold. In that work we demonstrated the use of [...] Read more.
In this letter, we present the extension of a previous work on a cost-effective method for fabricating highly sensitive humidity sensors on flexible substrates with a reversible response, allowing precise monitoring of the humidity threshold. In that work we demonstrated the use of three-dimensional metal-organic framework (MOF) film deposition based on the perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylate linker, potassium as metallic center and the interspacing of silver interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) as humidity sensors. In this work, we study one of the most important issues in efficient and reproducible mass production, which is to optimize the most important processes’ parameters in their fabrication, such as controlling the thickness of the sensor’s layers. We demonstrate this method not only allows for the creation of humidity sensors, but it also is possible to change the humidity value that changes the actuator state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2D/3D Printed Sensors and Electronics)
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