Flexible and stretchable electronic discovery

​North Carolina State University researchers say a technique they have developed for directly printing metal circuits could enable the creation of flexible and stretchable electronics.

The technique, which can use multiple metals and substrates, is claimed to be compatible with existing manufacturing systems that apply direct printing technologies. However, ink is substituted with molten metal alloys with melting points as low as 60°C. So far, the team has printed three alloys on glass, paper and stretchable polymers.

A further benefit is the circuits may be capable of ‘healing’ themselves if broken or stretched too far.