Ultraflexible optical devices have been used extensively in next-generation wearable electronics owing to their excellent conformability to human skins. Long-term health monitoring also requires the integration of ultraflexible optical devices with an energy-harvesting power source; to make devices self-powered. However, system-level integration of ultraflexible optical sensors with power sources is challenging because of insufficient air operational stability of ultraflexible polymer light-emitting diodes. Here we develop an ultraflexible self-powered organic optical system for photoplethysmogram monitoring by combining air-operation-stable polymer light-emitting diodes, organic solar cells, and organic photodetectors. Adopting an inverted structure and a doped polyethylenimine ethoxylated layer, ultraflexible polymer light-emitting diodes retain 70% of the initial luminance even after 11.3 h of operation under air. Also, integrated optical sensors exhibit a high linearity with the light intensity exponent of 0.98 by polymer light-emitting diode. Such self-powered, ultraflexible photoplethysmogram sensors perform monitoring of blood pulse signals as 77 beats per minute.
Read full text: Jinno, H., Yokota, T., Koizumi, M. et al. Self-powered ultraflexible photonic skin for continuous bio-signal detection via air-operation-stable polymer light-emitting diodes. Nat Commun 12, 2234 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22558-6