Highly Conductive and Underwater Stable Ionic Skin for All-Day Epidermal Biopotential Monitoring

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Polymer Science and Engineering


Epidermal biopotential monitoring is an essential part of wearable healthcare. For 24 × 7 h detection of electrophysiological signals, commercialized gel electrodes cannot satisfy the demands, in particular for monitoring in humidity or underwater. Epidermal electrodes that can be stable and operated underwater are required. Here, a highly conductive and optically camouflaged ionic skin for epidermal biopotential monitoring under aquatic circumstances is designed. There is a fluorine-dipole interaction system consisting of fluorine-rich segment in the polyurethane backbone and fluorine-cation bonded 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethyl-sulfonyl) imide ([EMIM]+ [TFSI]) ion pairs distributed in the polymer matrix. Benefitting from the fluorine-cation interaction, the ionic skin gains remarkable ionic conductivity (1.04 × 10−3 S cm−1), high optical transmittance (92%), and improved mechanical strength (3.1 MPa of Young's modulus). Via cations caught by fluorine-rich segments, its ionic conductivity can keep stable even by rinsing or fierce washing in water. The epidermal electrode based on such ionic skin can accurately measure a variety of electrophysiological signals undboth atmospheric and aquatic environments, exhibiting robust and excellent signal quality. As the first demonstration of ionic skin-based electrophysiological electrodes, the ionic skin paves a new way for all-day wearable healthcare.

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Advanced Functional materials





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