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Double-Framed Thin Elastomer Devices.

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Criscuolo, Valeria 
Montoya, Nerio Andrés 
Lo Presti, Andrea 
Occhipinti, Luigi G 
Netti, Paolo Antonio 


Elastomers and, in particular, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) are widely adopted as biocompatible mechanically compliant substrates for soft and flexible micro-nanosystems in medicine, biology, and engineering. However, several applications require such low thicknesses (e.g., <100 μm) that make peeling-off critical because very thin elastomers become delicate and tend to exhibit strong adhesion with carriers. Moreover, microfabrication techniques such as photolithography use solvents which swell PDMS, introducing complexity and possible contamination, thus limiting industrial scalability and preventing many biomedical applications. Here, we combine low-adhesion and rectangular carrier substrates, adhesive Kapton frames, micromilling-defined shadow masks, and adhesive-neutralizing paper frames for enabling fast, easy, green, contaminant-free, and scalable manufacturing of thin elastomer devices, with both simplified peeling and handling. The accurate alignment between the frame and shadow masks can be further facilitated by micromilled marking lines on the back side of the low-adhesion carrier. As a proof of concept, we show epidermal sensors on a 50 μm-thick PDMS substrate for measuring strain, the skin bioimpedance and the heart rate. The proposed approach paves the way to a straightforward, green, and scalable fabrication of contaminant-free thin devices on elastomers for a wide variety of applications.



Kapton-paper frame, contaminant-free epidermal devices, double-framed thin elastomer devices, epidermal electronics, peel-off, thin PDMS devices, Biocompatible Materials, Dimethylpolysiloxanes, Elastomers, Electric Impedance, Electrocardiography, Electrodes, Electronics, Epidermis, Humans

Journal Title

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

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American Chemical Society (ACS)


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