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Title: Tailored polydimethylsiloxane circuit encapsulation for washable and mechanically-deformable proximity and touch sensing electronic textiles for wearables and beyond
Author: Ojuroye, Olivia Olamide
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 1416
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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An ambition exists in literature for electronic textiles (e-textiles) to resemble traditional textiles in their usability, wearability, washability, and deformable attributes. To be worn and/or used frequently in other means, their benefits can be experienced. For this, a literature review concluded that flexible electronic circuits need to be packaged so they do not disturb the functionality, mechanical deformity, and usability of traditional textiles. Hence, they need to be hidden, unobtrusive, and protected from aqueous solutions. Therefore, by encapsulating sensing embedded circuits and integrating them among textile fibres to produce sensing textile yarns or sensing woven textiles, the electronics can be disguised. By selecting a flexible circuit substrate, electronics can retain their undetected state as the resulting electronic textile is folded, bent, or twisted whilst in use. This approach was taken as part of the EPSRC-funded project 'Novel manufacturing methods for functional electronic textiles'. To add to the existing work, this Ph.D thesis describes the development of an e-textile system with a high level of electronic integration whereby a capacitive touch and proximity sensing circuit is integrated into the core of a knitted yarn sleeve and woven to form a channel within a fabric swatch - using today's textile construction techniques. Consequently, the novelty of this work is the system of a proximity and touch sensing washable electronic textile which retains functionality after being submerged underwater for 6 months, can survive being washed in consumer washing machines with detergent and fabric conditioner; can survive over 10,000 cyclic twists and 50 cyclic bends. The system has off-the-shelf components, uses industrially available resources, materials, and processes to ensure industrial feasibility. The result is an experiment-verified washable, mechanically deformable flexible capacitive circuit that is compatible with the textile integration process to create novel etextile demonstrators. Additionally, novelty includes tailoring polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to increase its hydrophobicity to water, detergent, and fabric conditioner for e-textile applications.
Supervisor: Beeby, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available