Fibers and Polymers

, 12:904 | Cite as

Conductive polymer-coated threads as electrical interconnects in e-textiles

  • Michael D. IrwinEmail author
  • David A. Roberson
  • Richard I. Olivas
  • Ryan B. Wicker
  • Eric MacDonald


An organic polymer electrical interconnect is demonstrated. The ionomer mixture poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS; 1:2.5, w:w) was cast onto silk fibers from a 50:50 (v:v) ethylene glycol solution by a dip-coating process. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) results show that Young’s modulus and mechanical strength are maintained during the coating process from acidic solution (pH ∼1). DMA dynamic temperature scans reveal two new thermal transitions once PEDOT:PSS is applied to the silk fiber, and they are assigned to the glass transition temperature (59 °C) and melting point (146 °C) of the ionomer pair. Electrical conductivities of 8.5 S/cm were achieved with four cycles of the dip-coating process, only 10x less than Ag-coated thread control samples. SEM imaging of the PEDOT:PSS-coated fibers show slight texturing to the fibers due to the coating, as well as significant charging in the uncoated samples when compared to PEDOT:PSS-coated samples. The conductive fibers fabricated by this process were successfully applied as electrical interconnects in flexible, fully functional 555 timer circuits stitched into fabric substrates.


e-textiles Organic electronics Conductive fibers PEDOT:PSS Intrinsically conducting polymers 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Fiber Society and Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Irwin
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • David A. Roberson
    • 2
    • 4
  • Richard I. Olivas
    • 1
    • 4
  • Ryan B. Wicker
    • 3
    • 4
  • Eric MacDonald
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  4. 4.W.M. Keck Center for 3D InnovationThe University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA

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