The latest issue of the journal Fibres features an article from the Advanced Textiles Research Group at Nottingham Trent University entitled A Novel Method for Embedding Semiconductor Dies within Textile Yarn to Create Electronic Textiles. The group have been working on Electronic yarns (E-yarns) – yarns which contain electronics fully incorporated into the yarn’s structure prior to textile or garment production. They consist of a conductive core made from a flexible, multi-strand copper wire onto which semiconductor dies or MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) are soldered. The device and solder joints are then encapsulated within a resin micro-pod, which is subsequently surrounded by a textile sheath, which also covers the copper wires.
We have been pleased to be involved with these developments, with the provision of the Dymax UV curing encapsulant for the micro-pod, Dymax UV curing lamp, and preeflow precision dispensing equipment.
The work has validated the idea of automation of this assembly process, producing E-yarn for prototype electronic textiles. E-yarn, as well as having electronic functionality, can be processed in knitting and weaving machines. Get ready for smart clothes!
(a) A schematic showing the E-yarn (electronic yarn) structure, with an LED (light-emitting diode) protected by a micro pod and surrounded by a knitted sheath. (b) A completed E-yarn containing an LED (illuminated) shown at 30x magnification