18 September 2012 imec demonstrates electronics that flex and stretch like skin 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 Comment on this article Websites http://www2.imec.be Companies IMEC This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team. What you think 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.