“We are developing the design rules for a new generation of plastic–or, better, rubber–electronics for applications in energy, biomedical devices, wearable and conformable devices”
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego are asking what might be possible if semiconductor materials were flexible and stretchable without sacrificing electronic function?
Today’s flexible electronics are already enabling a new generation of wearable sensors and other mobile electronic devices. But these flexible electronics, in which very thin semiconductor materials are applied to a thin, flexible substrate in wavy patterns and then applied to a deformable surface such as skin or fabric, are still built around hard composite materials that limit their elasticity.
Writing in the journal Chemistry of Materials, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering professor Darren Lipomi reports on several new discoveries by his team that could lead to electronics that are “molecularly stretchable.”
Lipomi compared the difference between flexible and stretchable electronics to what would happen if you tried to wrap a basketball with either a sheet of paper or a thin sheet of rubber. The paper would wrinkle, while the rubber would conform to the surface of the ball.
“We are developing the design rules for a new generation of plastic–or, better, rubber–electronics for applications in energy, biomedical devices, wearable and conformable devices for defense applications, and for consumer electronics,” said Lipomi. “We are taking these design rules and doing wet chemistry in the lab to make new semiconducting rubber materials.”
While flexible electronics based on thin-film semiconductors are nearing commercialization, stretchable electronic materials and devices are in their infancy. Stretchable electronic materials would be conformable to non-planar surfaces without wrinkling and could be integrated with the moving parts of machines and the body in a way that materials exhibiting only flexibility could not be. For example, one of the chief applications envisioned by Lipomi is a low cost “solar tarp” that can be folded up for packaging and stretched back out to supply low cost energy to rural villages, disaster relief operations and the military operating in remote locations. Another long-term goal of the Lipomi lab is to produce electronic polymers whose properties–extreme elasticity, biodegradability, and self-repair–are inspired by biological tissue for applications in implantable biomedical devices and prosthetics.
Lipomi has been studying why the molecular structures of these “rubber” semiconductors cause some to be more elastic than others. In one project published recently in the journal Macromolecules, the Lipomi lab discovered that polymers with strings of seven carbon atoms attached produce exactly the right balance of stretchability and functionality. That balance is key to producing devices that are “flexible, stretchable, collapsible and fracture proof.”
Lipomi’s team has also created a high-performance, “low-bandgap” elastic semiconducting polymer using a new synthetic strategy the team invented. Solid polymers are partially crystalline, which gives them good electrical properties, but also makes the polymer material stiff and brittle. By introducing randomness in the molecular structure of the polymer, Lipomi’s lab increased its elasticity by a factor of two without decreasing the electronic performance of the material. Their discovery, published in RSC Advances, is also useful for applications in stretchable and ultra-flexible devices.
The Latest on: Stretchable electronics
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Stretchable electronics” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Stretchable electronics
- Learning Electronics By Just Doing Iton June 1, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Learning anything new, especially so broad and far reaching as electronics, can be hard. [IMSAI Guy] knows this because he gets asked regularly “how do I learn electronics?” Many of you ...
- Kirigami-inspired formula provides blueprint for designing shape-shifting materials and deviceson June 1, 2023 at 7:15 am
Kirigami takes pop-up books to a whole new level. The Japanese paper craft involves cutting patterns in paper to transform a two-dimensional sheet into an intricate, three-dimensional structure when ...
- Stanford team makes electronic skin that can sense touchon May 31, 2023 at 9:06 am
Scientists have dreamed of building prosthetic limbs that not only restore movement but also provide perception to help restore a more normal quality of life.
- 13 Stretch Mark Creams That Are Worth the Investmenton May 30, 2023 at 2:58 pm
Ah, stretch marks. Sometimes we love them, and sometimes we can't bear the sight of them, especially when the warmer months roll around. You're not alone if you've already begun your search for ...
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s New Barrier Materials Offer Superior Flexibility, Reliability, and Longer Lifetime in OLED Deviceson May 30, 2023 at 9:10 am
New silicon dielectrics processed via low-temperature Plasma Enhanced - Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) technology enables flexible OLEDs in superior display devices. Provides highly improved barrier ...
- Printed Electronics Market size to grow by USD 47,582.09 million from 2022 to 2027; Rising use of NFCs to drive market growth - Technavioon May 30, 2023 at 2:54 am
The printed electronics market size is set to grow by USD 47,582.09 million during 2022-2027, progressing at a CAGR of 15% during the forecast period, according to Technavio Research. The report ...
- Stretchable knee wearable offers insight into improving e-textiles for healthcareon May 24, 2023 at 5:00 pm
SUTD researchers developed a fully knitted, circuit-embedded knee wearable for wireless sensing of joint motion in real-time. Compared to other knitted electronics, this model has fewer externally ...
- Polymer Electrolyte Gives New Battery Stretch for Wearableson May 23, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Researchers have designed a new stretchable battery for wearable electronics that they said can store power safely even when bending to conform to natural movements of the human body. A team at ...
via Bing News