CE42 - Capteurs, instrumentation

Wireless Stretchable SAW devices: a new path to multifunctional, on-skin, fully passive sensors – SAWGOOD

Submission summary

In our modern society, the need for continuous knowledge of the human body’s parameters is a growing trend. From potentially life-saving healthcare applications to more casual cosmetics wellness/sport use, connected objects that monitor body parameters are part of a multibillion dollar - and growing - market. Yet, the need for possibly uncomfortable wires, bracelets or sometimes belts prevents the end-users from long-term continuous use of such connected objects.

In this context, a new field has emerged: “epidermal electronics” i.e. a new class of electronics, with devices that are tattooed on the skin in a seamless way, and that can stretch, bent, twist or conform to any shape
Yet, epidermal electronics still suffers a few limitations: it often requires the use of inconvenient electrodes to measure different parameters (temperature, Strain, EEG, EMG), and on the other hand the implementation of batteries and RF radios to make active transceivers in this format is extremely challenging. That is why the development of fully passive sensors is very interesting.

In this context, Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices are particularly relevant. The SAW-based sensors present the advantage to be fully passive (battery-less) and can be interrogated using wireless techniques.

The goal of the SAWGOOD project is to lay the groundwork to a new generation of imperceptible wireless on-skin stretchable surface acoustic wave sensors enabled by the combination of 3 aspects : efficient on-skin antennas, confined WLAW (Waveguiding Layer Acoustic Wave) structures in order to make packageless/self-protected structures, and advanced stretchable electronics micro-fabrication. The WLAW solution also makes it possible to push the miniaturization to its extreme by producing very low-profile components

The final goal is to make a “ready-to-tattoo” multifunctional sensors with a total thickness below 40 µm that will be passive, battery-less, wireless and packageless.

Our long term goal is to build a complete wireless stretchable sensing platform that includes a wide range of biomedical sensors, that will include temperature, magnetic field, hydration, strain and pressure. In the framework of this ANR JCJC, we chose to focus on two accessible measurandes of biomedical interest, with a conservative wireless range of 50 cm.
- the main one is the temperature, with a goal of sensitivity of 0.1°C
- the second one is the magnetic field. Here the goal is twofold: measure the mid-range (mT) magnetic field, as an alert device for pace-maker wearers. The second goal is to make progress towards brain fields sensing (fT) range. This being too far, an intermediate goal in the nT-µT range is set.
ISM frequency bands will be used for the interrogation (433MHz, 868 MHz, 2450 MHz).

Collaborations with industrial partners (end-users: Pharmagest and BASF Beauty Creations, and microelectronics integrators: Frec|n|sys/SOITEC and Femto Engineering) have already begun to adress the needs of end-users and the specifications and constraints of wafer providers / integrators.
This project will open new markets for those companies and will contribute to stimulate industrial renewal

On a more personal level, this JCJC project ll be the occasion for Dr Hage-Ali to strengthen his research topic at IJL around elastomer-based stretchable sensors and will constitute a big step towards an application for an ERC Consolidator grant in 2021-2022.

Project coordination

Sami Hage-Ali (Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces))

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IJL Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces)

Help of the ANR 230,580 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2018 - 42 Months

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