Flexible graphene photodetectors for wearable fitness monitoring

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  13 Sep 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 9, eaaw7846
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7846


Wearable health and wellness trackers based on optical detection are promising candidates for public health uses due to their noninvasive tracking of vital health signs. However, so far, the use of rigid technologies hindered the ultimate performance and form factor of the wearable. Here, we demonstrate a new class of flexible and transparent wearables based on graphene sensitized with semiconducting quantum dots (GQD). We show several prototype wearable devices that are able to monitor vital health signs noninvasively, including heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2), and respiratory rate. Operation with ambient light is demonstrated, offering low-power consumption. Moreover, using heterogeneous integration of a flexible ultraviolet (UV)–sensitive photodetector with a near-field communication circuit board allows wireless communication and power transfer between the photodetectors and a smartphone, offering battery-free operation. This technology paves the way toward seamlessly integrated wearables, and empowers the user through wireless probing of the UV index.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances