Polymer nanofiber-based porous structures, referred to as “breathable devices,” have been recently developed to minimize user discomfort. Although these devices enable conformal integration to the skin with gas permeability, their performance and durability are significantly lower than those of conventional film-based devices. In this study, an ultradurable embedded Ag–Au core–shell nanowire network (AANN) on a nanomesh substrate is fabricated using the intense pulsed light irradiation and electroplating (IPL-EP) process. The AANN is designed to achieve breathability and durability without sacrificing device performance. It can be used in breathable nanomesh electronics and exhibits a low sheet resistance (1.4 Ω sq−1), cycle stability (above 20,000 cycles), stability in chemicals (water-based solutions and highly corrosive H2O2 solution), washability (20 washings), and reusability. Additionally, it is used in reusable conductive electronic textiles, and its applications as a reusable strain sensor for motion detection and wearable heater for thermal therapy are demonstrated. Furthermore, the AANN-based conductive thread exhibits excellent electrical performance (0.3 Ω cm−1) with durability and maintains its electrical characteristics after 50 wash cycles. The proposed process can enable large-scale fabrication of highly durable breathable electronics, electronic textiles, and other biomedical devices.

Washable, stretchable, and reusable core–shell metal nanowire network-based electronics on a breathable polymer nanomesh substrate

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2022.10.023