13 May 2016 Stretchable electronics for wearable and high-current applications
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Advances in the development of novel materials and fabrication processes are resulting in an increased number of flexible and stretchable electronics applications. This evolving technology enables new devices that are not readily fabricated using traditional silicon processes, and has the potential to transform many industries, including personalized healthcare, consumer electronics, and communication. Fabrication of stretchable devices is typically achieved through the use of stretchable polymer-based conductors, or more rigid conductors, such as metals, with patterned geometries that can accommodate stretching. Although the application space for stretchable electronics is extensive, the practicality of these devices can be severely limited by power consumption and cost. Moreover, strict process flows can impede innovation that would otherwise enable new applications. In an effort to overcome these impediments, we present two modified approaches and applications based on a newly developed process for stretchable and flexible electronics fabrication. This includes the development of a metallization pattern stamping process allowing for 1) stretchable interconnects to be directly integrated with stretchable/wearable fabrics, and 2) a process variation enabling aligned multi-layer devices with integrated ferromagnetic nanocomposite polymer components enabling a fully-flexible electromagnetic microactuator for large-magnitude magnetic field generation. The wearable interconnects are measured, showing high conductivity, and can accommodate over 20% strain before experiencing conductive failure. The electromagnetic actuators have been fabricated and initial measurements show well-aligned, highly conductive, isolated metal layers. These two applications demonstrate the versatility of the newly developed process and suggest potential for its furthered use in stretchable electronics and MEMS applications.
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Daniel Hilbich, Daniel Hilbich, Lesley Shannon, Lesley Shannon, Bonnie L. Gray, Bonnie L. Gray, } "Stretchable electronics for wearable and high-current applications", Proc. SPIE 9802, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2016, 98020R (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2219284; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2219284


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