Inkjet printing and UV-LED curing of photochromic dyes for functional and smart textile applications

Sina Seipel (Corresponding Author), Junchun Yu, Aravin P. Periyasamy, Martina Viková, Michal Vik, Vincent A. Nierstrasz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Health concerns as a result of harmful UV-rays drive the development of UV-sensors of different kinds. In this research, a UV-responsive smart textile is produced by inkjet printing and UV-LED curing of a specifically designed photochromic ink on PET fabric. This paper focuses on tuning and characterizing the colour performance of a photochromic dye embedded in a UV-curable ink resin. The influence of industrial fabrication parameters on the crosslinking density of the UV-resin and hence on the colour kinetics is investigated. A lower crosslinking density of the UV-resin increases the kinetic switching speed of the photochromic dye molecules upon isomerization. By introducing an extended kinetic model, which defines rate constants kcolouration, kdecay and kdecolouration, the colour performance of photochromic textiles can be predicted. Fabrication parameters present a flexible and fast alternative to polymer conjugation to control kinetics of photochromic dyes in a resin. In particular, industrial fabrication parameters during printing and curing of the photochromic ink are used to set the colour yield, colouration/decolouration rates and the durability, which are important characteristics towards the development of a UV-sensor for smart textile applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28395-28404
Number of pages10
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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