Scientists from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) have unveiled a transparent heater that can be worn directly on the skin.
The research team led by professors Jang-Ung Park and Ju-Young Kim, developed the technology for producing a large scale of transparent electrode using metallic glasses. This metallic glass, a new material, is a type of alloy with high elasticity and heat resistance that was instrumental in the creation of the transparent electrode.
The metallic glass has high oxidation and corrosion resistance which makes it less vulnerable to rusting. This results in high electric conductivity with an overall resistance ten times lesser than general Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).
The researchers also successfully materialized gas sensors to sense dangerous objects in the wearer’s surroundings. It can be attached to the end of the finger to aid users in sensing harmful gas. Additionally, the wearable heater is stretchable and transparent. Users can easily attach it on their skin or clothes to stay warm.
Roll-to-Roll, the process of rolling very thin films around the roll while making the circuit, is the key to this technology. Companies can reduce significant manufacture and production costs in a very short time with this method.
Prof. Ju-Young Kim stated: “We can now guide the new path of using metallic glasses. It will be possible to apply this technology to different kinds of wearable devices as the properties of transparent electrodes got improved.”
Image courtesy of UNIST