January 26, 2009

Twistable, stretchable electronics created

U.S. scientists say they have created stretchable electronics that allow extreme bending and straining without a reduction in performance.

University of Miami Professor Jizhou Song, Professor John Rogers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University Professor Yonggang Huang said they developed a new design for stretchable electronics that can be wrapped around complex shapes, without a reduction in electronic function.

The researchers said the new strategy is based on semiconductor nanomaterials that can offer high stretchability up to 140 percent, as well as large twistability such as corkscrew twists with tight pitch.

Our design is of great interest because the requirements for complex shapes that can function during stretching, compression, bending, twisting and other types of extreme mechanical deformation are impossible to satisfy with conventional technology, said Song.

The research was reported in the December issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.