English | 简体中文 | 繁體中文 | 한국어 | 日本語
Sunday, 24 March 2019, 16:00 HKT/SGT
Share:
    

Source: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
The Future of Stretchable Electronics
Stretchable devices could have a wide range of potential uses, from wearable health monitors to elastic solar cells to artificial skin

Tsukuba, Japan, Mar 24, 2019 - (ACN Newswire) - Stretchable electronics is emerging as a promising new technology for next-generation wearable devices, according to a review published in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.


Image 1: A wide range of stretchable electronic devices are being investigated, including this thin-film transistor matrix, showed relaxed (L) and stretched to about 60% (R). The transistor parameters remain almost unchanged upon stretching up to 140%. (Credit: Matsuhisa, N. et al. Nature Communications. 25 July 2015/Creative Commons)


Image 2: This solar cell can be stretched (L) or twisted (R) without performance degradation. (Credit: Nam, J. et al. Scientific Reports. 8 Aug. 2017/Creative Commons)


The technology has many possible applications for healthcare, energy and the military. But there are several challenges involved in finding suitable materials and manufacturing methods. The biggest challenge for making stretchable electronics is that each component must endure being compressed, twisted and applied to uneven surfaces while maintaining performance, according to the review author Wei Wu, materials scientist at Wuhan University, China.

Many different stretchable electronic components are being developed. For instance, low-cost stretchable conductors and electrodes are being made from silver nanowires and graphene. An urgent technical problem is the need for stretchable energy conversion and storage devices, such as batteries. Zinc-based batteries are promising candidates; however, more work is required to make them commercially viable.

An alternative to batteries is stretchable nanogenerators, which can produce electricity from various freely available vibrations, such as wind or human body movements. Stretchable solar cells could also be used to power wearable electronic devices.

By integrating multiple stretchable components, such as temperature, pressure and electrochemical sensors, it is possible to create a material resembling human skin that could use signals from sweat, tears or saliva for real-time, non-invasive healthcare monitoring, as well as for smart prosthetics or robots with enhanced sense capabilities. However, at present, fabrication of artificial skin remains time-consuming and complex.

Currently there are two main strategies for manufacturing stretchable electronics. The first is to use intrinsically stretchable materials, such as rubber, which can endure large deformations. However, these materials have limitations, such as high electrical resistance.

The second method is to make non-flexible materials stretchable using innovative design. For example, brittle semiconductor materials like silicon can be grown on a pre-stretched surface and then allowed to compress, creating buckling waves. Another strategy involves linking 'islands' of rigid conductive materials together using flexible interconnections, such as soft or liquid metals. Origami-inspired folding techniques can be used to make foldable electronic devices. In the future, stretchable electronics may be enhanced with new capabilities, such as wireless communication, self-charging or even self-healing.

The next step after laboratory tests is to bring stretchable electronic devices to market. This requires cheaper materials and faster, scalable manufacturing methods, concludes the review author.

For more information, contact:
Wei Wu
Wuhan University
[email protected]

About Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Journal
Open access journal STAM publishes outstanding research articles across all aspects of materials science, including functional and structural materials, theoretical analyses, and properties of materials.

For more information about STAM, please contact:
Mikiko Tanifuji
STAM Publishing Director
[email protected]

Paper link:
https://doi.org/10.1080/14686996.2018.1549460

Image 1
A wide range of stretchable electronic devices are being investigated, including this thin-film transistor matrix, showed relaxed (left) and stretched to about 60% (right). The transistor parameters remain almost unchanged upon stretching up to 140%. (Credit: Matsuhisa, N. et al. Nature Communications. 25 July 2015/Creative Commons) https://bit.ly/2FmoG0h

Image 2
This solar cell can be stretched (left) or twisted (right) without performance degradation. (Credit: Nam, J. et al. Scientific Reports. 8 Aug. 2017/Creative Commons) https://bit.ly/2uoJqQb

Topic: Research and development
Sectors: Electronics, Nanotechnology, Science & Research
http://www.acnnewswire.com
From the Asia Corporate News Network


Copyright © 2020 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. A division of Asia Corporate News Network.

 

Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Releated News
Feb 21, 2020 08:00 HKT/SGT
Gaining more control over fuel cell membranes
Feb 13, 2020 01:00 HKT/SGT
Using bone's natural electricity to promote regeneration
Feb 11, 2020 16:00 HKT/SGT
Combined data approach could accelerate development of new materials
Feb 6, 2020 13:00 HKT/SGT
Measuring the wear and tear of metals
Apr 16, 2019 16:00 HKT/SGT
Quantum dot imaging advances
More news >>
Copyright © 2020 ACN Newswire - Asia Corporate News Network
Home | About us | Services | Partners | Events | Login | Contact us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | RSS
US: +1 800 291 0906 | Beijing: +86 400 879 3881 | Hong Kong: +852 8192 4922 | Singapore: +65 6653 1210 | Tokyo: +81 3 6859 8575