Smart Superhydrophobic Textiles Utilizing a Long-Range Antenna Sensor for Hazardous Aqueous Droplet Detection plus Prevention
Abstract: This paper demonstrates the feasibility of a long-range antenna sensor embedded underneath a liquid repellent fabric to be employed as a wearable sensor in personal protective fabrics. The sensor detects and monitors hazardous aqueous liquids on the outer layer of fabrics, to add an additional layer of safety for professionals working in hazardous environments. A modified patch antenna was designed to include a meandering-shaped resonant structure, which was embedded underneath the fabric. Superhydrophobic fabrics were prepared using silica nanoparticles and a low-surface-energy fluorosilane. 4 to 20 μL droplets representing hazardous aqueous solutions were drop-cast on the fabrics to investigate the performance of the embedded antenna sensor. Long-range (S21) measurements at a distance of 2–3 m were performed using the antenna sensor with treated and untreated fabrics. The antenna sensor successfully detected the liquid for both types of fabrics. The resonant frequency sensitivity of the antenna sensor underneath the treated fabric exhibiting superhydrophobicity was measured as 370 kHz/μL, and 1 MHz/μL for the untreated fabric. The results demonstrate that the antenna sensor is a good candidate for wearable hazardous aqueous droplet detection on fabrics.
Keywords: antenna sensor / wireless sensing / liquid sensing / microwave sensing / patch antenna
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