Screen Printing Carbon Nanotubes Textiles Antennas for Smart Wearables

Labiano I. I. , Arslan D., Yenigun E. O. , Asadi A., Cebeci H. , Alomainy A.

SENSORS, vol.21, no.14, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/s21144934
  • Title of Journal : SENSORS
  • Keywords: e-textiles, wearables, screen printing, flexible printed antennas, carbon nanotubes inks, FABRICATION, INKS, DISPERSION, FILMS, FORMULATION, EFFICIENCY, STABILITY, SUBSTRATE, CIRCUITS, RHEOLOGY


Electronic textiles have become a dynamic research field in recent decades, attracting attention to smart wearables to develop and integrate electronic devices onto clothing. Combining traditional screen-printing techniques with novel nanocarbon-based inks offers seamless integration of flexible and conformal antenna patterns onto fabric substrates with a minimum weight penalty and haptic disruption. In this study, two different fabric-based antenna designs called PICA and LOOP were fabricated through a scalable screen-printing process by tuning the conductive ink formulations accompanied by cellulose nanocrystals. The printing process was controlled and monitored by revealing the relationship between the textiles' nature and conducting nano-ink. The fabric prototypes were tested in dynamic environments mimicking complex real-life situations, such as being in proximity to a human body, and being affected by wrinkling, bending, and fabric care such as washing or ironing. Both computational and experimental on-and-off-body antenna gain results acknowledged the potential of tunable material systems complimenting traditional printing techniques for smart sensing technology as a plausible pathway for future wearables.