Review Article

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2021, 14(9): 2904–2918

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https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3388-x

Functional photonic structures for external interaction with flexible/ wearable devices

Young Jin Yoo1,§, Se-Yeon Heo1,§, Yeong Jae Kim2,§, Joo Hwan Ko1, Zafrin Ferdous Mira1, and Young Min Song1,3,4 (✉)

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1 School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Bukgu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
2 Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering & Technology, Ceramics Test-Bed Center, 3321 Gyeongchung-daero, Sindun-myeon, Icheon-si Gyeonggi-do 17303, Republic of Korea
3 Anti-Viral Research Center, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Bukgu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
4 AI Graduate School, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Bukgu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea
§ Young Jin Yoo, Se-Yeon Heo, and Yeong Jae Kim contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: photonic structure, wearable device, health care device, colorimetric sensor, radiative cooling, infrared camouflage
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  • Abstract
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In addition to vital functions, more subsidiary functions are being expected from wearable devices. The wearable technology thus far has achieved the ability to maintain homeostasis by continuously monitoring physiological signals. The quality of life improves if, through further developments of wearable devices to detect, announce, and even control unperceptive or noxious signals from the environment. Soft materials based on photonic engineering can fulfil the abovementioned functions. Due to the flexibility and zero-power operation of such materials, they can be applied to conventional wearables without affecting existing functions. The achievements to freely tailoring a broad range of electromagnetic waves have encouraged the development of wearable systems for independent recognition/manipulation of light, pollution, chemicals, viruses and heat. Herein, the role that photonic engineering on a flexible platform plays in detecting or reacting to environmental changes is reviewed in terms of material selection, structural design, and regulation mechanisms from the ultraviolet to infrared spectral regions. Moreover, issues emerging with the evolution of the wearable technology, such as Joule heating, battery durability, and user privacy, and the potential solution strategies are discussed. This article provides a systematic review of current progress in wearable devices based on photonic structures as well as an overview of possible ubiquitous advances and their applications, providing diachronic perspectives and future outlook on the rapidly growing research field of wearable technology.
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Functional photonic structures for external interaction with flexible/ wearable devices. Nano Res. 2021, 14(9): 2904–2918 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-021-3388-x

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