Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stretchable Silicon Could Be Next Wave In Electronics

Date:
December 16, 2005
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
The next wave in electronics could be wavy electronics. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a fully stretchable form of single-crystal silicon with micron-sized, wave-like geometries that can be used to build high-performance electronic devices on rubber substrates.

Schematic illustration of the process for building stretchable single crystal silicon devices on rubber substrates.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The next wave in electronics could be wavy electronics.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a fully stretchable form of single-crystal silicon with micron-sized, wave-like geometries that can be used to build high-performance electronic devices on rubber substrates.

"Stretchable silicon offers different capabilities than can be achieved with standard silicon chips," said John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering and co-author of a paper to appear in the journal Science, as part of the Science Express Web site, on Dec 15.

Functional, stretchable and bendable electronics could be used in applications such as sensors and drive electronics for integration into artificial muscles or biological tissues, structural monitors wrapped around aircraft wings, and conformable skins for integrated robotic sensors, said Rogers, who is also a Founder Professor of Engineering, a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and a member of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

To create their stretchable silicon, the researchers begin by fabricating devices in the geometry of ultrathin ribbons on a silicon wafer using procedures similar to those used in conventional electronics. Then they use specialized etching techniques to undercut the devices. The resulting ribbons of silicon are about 100 nanometers thick -- 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

In the next step, a flat rubber substrate is stretched and placed on top of the ribbons. Peeling the rubber away lifts the ribbons off the wafer and leaves them adhered to the rubber surface. Releasing the stress in the rubber causes the silicon ribbons and the rubber to buckle into a series of well-defined waves that resemble an accordion.

"The resulting system of wavy integrated device elements on rubber represents a new form of stretchable, high-performance electronics," said Young Huang, the Shao Lee Soo Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. "The amplitude and frequency of the waves change, in a physical mechanism similar to an accordion bellows, as the system is stretched or compressed."

As a proof of concept, the researchers fabricated wavy diodes and transistors and compared their performance with traditional devices. Not only did the wavy devices perform as well as the rigid devices, they could be repeatedly stretched and compressed without damage, and without significantly altering their electrical properties.

"These stretchable silicon diodes and transistors represent only two of the many classes of wavy electronic devices that can be formed," Rogers said. "In addition to individual devices, complete circuit sheets can also be structured into wavy geometries to enable stretchability."

Besides the unique mechanical characteristics of wavy devices, the coupling of strain to electronic and optical properties might provide opportunities to design device structures that exploit mechanically tunable, periodic variations in strain to achieve unusual responses.

In addition to Rogers and Huang, co-authors of the paper were postdoctoral researcher Dahl-Young Khang and research scientist Hanqing Jiang. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy funded the work.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Stretchable Silicon Could Be Next Wave In Electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051215230914.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2005, December 16). Stretchable Silicon Could Be Next Wave In Electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051215230914.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Stretchable Silicon Could Be Next Wave In Electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051215230914.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins