: towards wearable and flexible electronics

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Textiles and fabrics that utilise organic material coatings, such as conjugated polymers, can be transformed into a plethora of wearable electronic devices that satisfy next-generation applications. Conjugated polymers, that are readily synthesised via facile solution-based methods, are highly desirable owing to their electronic tuneability that provide means for direct sensing, among other favourable characteristics.

In this thesis, conductive polyaniline (PAni) nanofibers were successfully synthesised in a polymerisation process where aniline monomer and an initiator, dissolved in 1.0 M dopant, were rapidly mixed. Following synthesis, thin film production of PAni was investigated using several different deposition techniques. For wearable electronic coatings, the morphology of the conjugated polymer thin films determines electronic performance of the fabric and its resilience against high stress and wear. Hence, the construction of a chemical vapour deposition reactor to allow uniform thin film production on various substrates was explored. 

Successfully produced thin films of novel PAni material were then patterned using a simple laser writing technique that could be tuned to control thin film conductivity and morphology. Testing of simple proof-of-principle flexible devices demonstrated that film conductivity can be retained despite bending up to 180º.

Therefore, the development of a direct patterning method for producing high-resolution conductive features, that is both simple and inexpensive is demonstrated in this work, and should guide further research into the fabrication of novel functional wearable textiles, polymer printed devices and soft robotics.
Date of Award21 Mar 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorCharl F J Faul (Supervisor) & Jonathan M Rossiter (Supervisor)

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