Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics

Date:
January 12, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have created the first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than double their original length, moving us closer to incorporating stretchable electronic devices into clothing, implantable health-monitoring devices, and a host of other applications.

Zhu's research team has created the first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than double their original length, moving us closer to developing stretchable electronic devices.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created the first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than double their original length, moving us closer to incorporating stretchable electronic devices into clothing, implantable health-monitoring devices, and a host of other applications.

Related Articles


"In order to create stretchable electronics, you need to put electronics on a stretchable substrate, but electronic materials themselves tend to be rigid and fragile," says Dr. Yong Zhu, one of the researchers who created the new nanowire coils and an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State. "Our idea was to create electronic materials that can be tailored into coils to improve their stretchability without harming the electric functionality of the materials."

Other researchers have experimented with "buckling" electronic materials into wavy shapes, which can stretch much like the bellows of an accordion. However, Zhu says, the maximum strains for wavy structures occur at localized positions -- the peaks and valleys -- on the waves. As soon as the failure strain is reached at one of the localized positions, the entire structure fails.

"An ideal shape to accommodate large deformation would lead to a uniform strain distribution along the entire length of the structure -- a coil spring is one such ideal shape," Zhu says. "As a result, the wavy materials cannot come close to the coils' degree of stretchability." Zhu notes that the coil shape is energetically favorable only for one-dimensional structures, such as wires.

Zhu's team put a rubber substrate under strain and used very specific levels of ultraviolet radiation and ozone to change its mechanical properties, and then placed silicon nanowires on top of the substrate. The nanowires formed coils upon release of the strain. Other researchers have been able to create coils using freestanding nanowires, but have so far been unable to directly integrate those coils on a stretchable substrate.

While the new coils' mechanical properties allow them to be stretched an additional 104 percent beyond their original length, their electric performance cannot hold reliably to such a large range, possibly due to factors like contact resistance change or electrode failure, Zhu says. "We are working to improve the reliability of the electrical performance when the coils are stretched to the limit of their mechanical stretchability, which is likely well beyond 100 percent, according to our analysis."

A paper describing the research was published online Dec. 28 by ACS Nano. The paper is co-authored by Zhu, NC State Ph.D. student Feng Xu and Wei Lu, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

NC State's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is part of the university's College of Engineering.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Feng Xu, Wei Lu, Yong Zhu. Controlled 3D Buckling of Silicon Nanowires for Stretchable Electronics. ACS Nano, 2010; 101228134259017 DOI: 10.1021/nn103189z

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111141343.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, January 12). Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111141343.htm
North Carolina State University. "Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111141343.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

First Etihad Superjumbo Flight in December

AFP (Dec. 18, 2014) The first flight of Etihad Airways' long-awaited Airbus A380 superjumbo will take place later in December, the Abu Dhabi carrier said Thursday, also announcing its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner route. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The automaker added 447,000 vehicles to its recall list, bringing the total to more than 502,000. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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