UH Researchers Discover New Form of Stretchable Electronics, Sensors and Skins
A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a breakthrough in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold, while also offering advantages for a wide range of biomedical devices.
The work, reported in the journal Science Advances, describes a new mechanism for producing stretchable electronics, a process that relies upon readily available materials and could be scaled up for commercial production.
Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering and lead author for the paper, said the work is the first to create a semiconductor in a rubber composite format, designed to allow the electronic components to retain functionality even after the material is stretched by 50 percent.
The work is the first semiconductor in rubber composite format that enables stretchability without any special mechanical structure, Yu said.
He noted that traditional semiconductors are brittle and using them in otherwise stretchable materials has required a complicated system of mechanical accommodations. That’s both more complex and less stable than the new discovery, as well as more expensive, he said.
“Our strategy has advantages for simple fabrication, scalable manufacturing, high-density integration, large strain tolerance and low cost,” he said.
Yu and the rest of the team – co-authors include first author Hae-Jin Kim, Kyoseung Sim and Anish Thukral, all with the UH Cullen College of Engineering – created the electronic skin and used it to demonstrate that a robotic hand could sense the temperature of hot and iced water in a cup. The skin also was able to interpret computer signals sent to the hand and reproduce the signals as American Sign Language.
“The robotic skin can translate the gesture to readable letters that a person like me can understand and read,” Yu said.
The artificial skin is just one application. Researchers said the discovery of a material that is soft, bendable, stretchable and twistable will impact future development in soft wearable electronics, including health monitors, medical implants and human-machine interfaces.
The stretchable composite semiconductor was prepared by using a silicon-based polymer known as polydimethylsiloxane, or PDMS, and tiny nanowires to create a solution that hardened into a material which used the nanowires to transport electric current.
“We foresee that this strategy of enabling elastomeric semiconductors by percolating semiconductor nanofibrils into a rubber will advance the development of stretchable semiconductors, and … will move forward the advancement of stretchable electronics for a wide range of applications, such as artificial skins, biomedical implants and surgical gloves,” they wrote.
The Latest on: Stretchable electronics
AFRL technical director selected to receive NextFlex Fellow award
on March 16, 2018 at 6:02 am
Bendable and stretchable electronics are finding their way into athletics, transportation, medical care, security, disaster relief and logistics. These technologies promise dual use applications in both the consumer economy and the development of military ... […]
Silicon breakthrough for high-performance bendable electronics
on March 15, 2018 at 5:52 pm
For more information see the IDTechEx report on Stretchable and Conformal Electronics. In two new papers, University of Glasgow engineers describe how they scaled up the established processes for making flexible silicon chips to the size required for ... […]
Carnegie Mellon Research - Invisible, Stretchable Circuits
on March 15, 2018 at 8:50 am
For the first time, we demonstrate a method to create circuits that are highly conductive, thin, lightweight, soft, stretchable, and optically transparent. This breakthrough will allow electronics to be attached to skin, clothing, or accessories without ... […]
3D-Printable Alloy is Major Step Forward for Soft Electronics
on March 9, 2018 at 12:27 am
This nascent area of electronics already includes a wide range of products ... the processes reported in the new study could enable the production of bendable, stretchable touchscreens, smart clothing or skin-like patches for medical uses. […]
OSU liquid metal printing discovery demonstrates the future of electronics
on March 7, 2018 at 2:27 pm
Form fitting control panels, stretchable sensors, self healing smartphone screens – this is the future presented by 3D printed flexible electronics. Versatile components made using this technology are currently in development, and researchers at Oregon ... […]
Advancing the Field of Flexible Electronics with 3D Printable Liquid Metal Alloy
on March 6, 2018 at 9:20 am
The team recently published a paper on their study findings, titled “Rheological Modification of Liquid Metal for Additive Manufacturing of Stretchable Electronics,” in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies. The Young Investigator Program of the ... […]
3D printing breakthrough has potential in stretchable electronics
on March 6, 2018 at 3:27 am
Stretchable electronic devices and soft robots could be manufactured more rapidly with an advance that 3D prints complicated vertical structures with a highly conductive gallium alloy. Galinstan 3D prints According to researchers at Oregon State University ... […]
Modified, 3D-printable alloy shows promise for flexible electronics, soft robots
on March 5, 2018 at 5:19 pm
Sample 3D prints. (Image: Oregon State University) Findings were recently published in Advanced Materials Technologies ("Rheological Modification of Liquid Metal for Additive Manufacturing of Stretchable Electronics"). Gallium alloys are already being used ... […]
via Google News and Bing News