18 September 2012

imec demonstrates electronics that flex and stretch like skin

Belgian institute imec has integrated an ultra thin, flexible chip with bendable and stretchable interconnects into a package it says adapts dynamically to curving and bending surfaces.

The circuitry is designed to be embedded in medical and lifestyle applications such as wearable health monitors or smart clothing.

First, the researchers thinned a commercially available microcontroller down to 30µm, which was then embedded in a slim polyimide package (40 to 50µm thick). This ultrathin chip was integrated with stretchable electrical wiring, realised by patterning polyimide supported meandering horseshoe shaped wires.

The team then embedded the package in an elastomeric substrate such as polydimethylsiloxane. In this substrate, the conductors behave as two dimensional springs, enabling greater flexibility while preserving conductivity.

"Future electronic circuitry will stretch and bend like rubber or skin while preserving its conductivity," commented Jan Vanfleteren at imec's University of Ghent lab. "This breakthrough achievement demonstrates that flexible ultra thin chip packages can be integrated with stretchable wiring, paving the way toward fully flexible applications."

Commercial products could include clothing which uses leds and sensors to track movements.

Author
Simon Fogg

Supporting Information

Websites
http://www2.imec.be

Companies
IMEC

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Do you have any comments about this article?


Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Amp works at 50% efficiency

Researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff have created an ...

Materials breakthrough

A technique to study the interface between materials, developed at the National ...

Quantum logic gate created

Professor Gerhard Rempe, director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum ...

Down to the wire

Once the plain old telephone service, the role of the telephone wire continues ...

Within touching distance

Graphene is starting to filter onto the market. HEAD claims its tennis racquets ...

Making light work of photonics

Today's world is permeated by electronics, from industry to communications, ...

NI Trend Watch 2014

This report from National Instruments summarises the latest trends in the ...

Capactive sensing

This whitepaper looks at a number of capacitive sensing applications to ...

Altium's Innovation Station

An introduction to the Altium Innovation Station. It includes an overview of ...

IBM tackles 22nm challenges

IBM has announced the semiconductor industry’s first computationally based ...

BEEAs 2013

9th October 2014, 8 Northumberland, London

Self-destructing electronics

Researchers at Iowa State University have created transient electronics that ...

MEMS switch for 'true 4G'

General Electric has created a 3GHz RF MEMS switch that can handle up to 5kW of ...

Smart fabrics developed at NPL

NPL has developed a new method to produce conductive textiles. The technique ...

Electronic charge to 800mph

Breaking the land speed record would require a very special blend of latest ...

Flash drives semi technologies

Demand for NAND flash is said to be growing at 45% per year, driven mainly by ...

Top tech trends for 2013

Bee Thakore, European technical marketing manager for element14, gives an ...

Nathan Hill, director, NGI

Research into graphene won Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov the Nobel prize in ...

Brent Hudson, Sagentia

Sagentia's ceo tells Graham Pitcher how the consulting company is anticipating ...

Prof Donal Bradley, Imperial

Graham Pitcher talks to a researcher who was 'there at the start' of the ...