Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Making Wearables Affordable Through Nano Technology

Although it has been quite some time since wearable technology has been introduced, a variety of them are available for both amateurs and professionals and health freaks. And ever since their emergence a lot of changes have been made in them as well. But the truth of wearable gadgets being expensive cannot be ignored either.

Wearables having small components, being durable, shock proof and resilient for the rough tasks of daily life, are the few reasons of wearbles being expensive. Moreover, the market demand of such gadgets has not sky rocketed as one might think, people are not so keen on buying them.

However, with all of the hindrances there is still hope. A team of dedicated professionals at Florida State University have been working on a nano technology that will make the gadgets work more for less.

Richard Liang, director of the High-Performance Materials Institute and professor at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, has been behind this project. He has led the production of a series of motion sensors by using the technology of buckypaper, which is flexible and thin sheets of C60.

This strip of buckypaper is amalgamated with a silver ink electrodes which can be printed on the usual inkjet printer resulting into a sensor which is more sensitive than those pliable metallic sensors used in other wearable technology. However, it won’t be fragile, rifid and highly sensitive like the semi-conductors.

“We measure sensors by gauge factor, which indicates how much resistance value changes as a material is strained or bent,” stated the doctoral candidate Joshua DeGraff, the head author of a paper explaining the latest technology.

“Our gauge factor has been up to eight times higher than commercial sensors and 75 percent higher than many other carbon nanotube sensors.”

Now the team will be testing the sensor strip more and make it more thick so that it can be integrated into the clothes and other complex models.

“For sensor technology, you need it to be flexible, you need it to be affordable and you need it to be scalable,” stated Liang.

“This new technology is versatile and the sensors are affordable to print. It’s a big innovation that presents many possibilities down the road.”

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