Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for directly printing metal circuits, creating flexible, stretchable electronics. The technique can use multiple metals and substrates and is compatible with existing manufacturing systems that employ direct printing technologies.
“Flexible electronics hold promise for use in many fields, but there are significant manufacturing costs involved – which poses a challenge in making them practical for commercial use,” says Jingyan Dong, corresponding author of a paper on the work and an associate professor in NC State’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering.
“Our approach should reduce cost and offer an efficient means of producing circuits with high resolution, making them viable for integrating into commercial devices,” Dong says.
The technique uses existing electrohydrodynamic printing technology, which is already used in many manufacturing processes that use functional inks. But instead of ink, Dong’s team uses molten metal alloys with melting points as low as 60 degrees Celsius. The researchers have demonstrated their technique using three different alloys, printing on four different substrates: one glass, one paper and two stretchable polymers.
“This is direct printing,” Dong says. “There is no mask, no etching and no molds, making the process much more straightforward.”
The researchers tested the resilience of the circuits on a polymer substrate and found that the circuit’s conductivity was unaffected even after being bent 1,000 times. The circuits were still electrically stable even when stretched to 70 percent of tensile strain.
The researchers also found that the circuits are capable of “healing” themselves if they are broken by being bent or stretched too far.
“Because of the low melting point, you can simply heat the affected area up to around 70 degrees Celsius and the metal flows back together, repairing the relevant damage,” Dong says.
The researchers demonstrated the functionality of the printing technique by creating a high-density touch sensor, fitting a 400-pixel array into one square centimeter.
“We’ve demonstrated the resilience and functionality of our approach, and we’re open to working with the industry sector to implement the technique in manufacturing wearable sensors or other electronic devices,” Dong says.
The Latest on: Flexible Stretchable Electronics
- A stretchable sensor material to power wearable electronic that works in extreme coldon August 5, 2021 at 9:55 am
A new material designed by researchers at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering combines the flexibility of human skin with improved conductivity and tolerance of ...
- Researchers develop stretchable sensor material to power wearable electronics – and it works in extreme coldon August 5, 2021 at 9:07 am
Binbin Ying, a former visiting PhD student in U of T professor Xinyu Liu's lab, demonstrates a cold-tolerant, stretchable and sticky sensor material called "iSkin" that converts physical movement into ...
- Thin, flexible display developed to show full-color images on skinon August 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The flexible rubber sheet material, measuring 8 centimeters long, 8 cm wide and 2 millimeters thick, is fitted with colored LED chips. According to the July 13 announcement, the skin electronics ...
- New Device Harvests Power From Your Sweaty Fingertips While You Sleepon July 31, 2021 at 2:39 am
This video shows a left hand with 4 BFCs wrapped onto four individual fingers to collect energy simultaneously from multiple fingers. Credit: Lu Yin Feeling extra sweaty from a summer heat wave? Don't ...
- Stretchy Silver Nanowires Key to Next Generation of Flexible Deviceson July 29, 2021 at 5:00 pm
which is of particular interest for new flexible, stretchable, and organic electronics applications.” Indeed, this kind of silver wire could be fashioned into a mesh that conducts current, allows ...
- Royole Releases DIY Foldable Phone Kiton July 27, 2021 at 7:26 pm
Royole was the first company to release a folding smartphone shortly before Samsung released its Galaxy Fold, but being first doesn't mean being the best. The Royole FlexPai has been described as ...
- Composite Thermoelectric Generator Material Easily Flexes and Stretcheson July 27, 2021 at 4:59 pm
“Our material is 100 times softer and 100 times more stretchable than PEDOT:PSS,” said Klas Tybrandt, who leads the group of Soft Electronics ... alt="Ed Interest Flexible Teg Fig1 Web ...
- Blood flow monitored with stretchable ultrasound patchon July 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Engineers have developed a stretchable polymer ultrasound patch that adheres to skin to monitor blood flow through major arteries and veins.
- Arm Could Revolutionize Wearable Tech With Innovative PlasticARM Flexible Microchipon July 23, 2021 at 8:40 am
Flexible electronics is not a new idea by any stretch. However, Arm has produced what it says is a more complex design than what past efforts have consisted of, with a new prototype called PlasticArm.
- Soft skin patch could provide early warning for strokes, heart attackson July 23, 2021 at 12:53 am
“Sensing signals at such depths is extremely challenging for wearable electronics. Yet ... The patch is made up of a thin sheet of flexible, stretchable polymer that adheres to the skin. Embedded on ...
via Google News and Bing News