A New Technique for Making Wearable Sensors

UC Berkeley engineers have developed a new technique for creating wearable sensors that allows medical researchers to test new designs much faster and at a much lower cost than existing methods. New technology is replacing photolithography, a multi-step process used to make computer chips in clean rooms, with a $ 200 vinyl cutter. The new approach reduces the time to manufacture small batches of sensors by almost 90%, while reducing costs by almost 75%, said Zhenxiao Xu (Ph.D.’20 ME), who developed the technique while earning his doctorate. majoring in Mechanical Engineering in Berkeley.

“Most researchers working on medical devices have no experience in photolithography,” Xu said. “Our method allows them to easily and inexpensively change the design of the sensor on a computer and then send the file to a vinyl cutter for fabrication.” A description of the technique was published in ACS Nano. Xu, who now works at Apple, and Liwei Lin, a professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Berkeley Center for Sensors and Drives, were lead researchers. For more information, see the IDTechEx Weapons Sensors 2021-2031 report.

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