Engineers Stretch the Limits of Electronics | AIChE

Engineers Stretch the Limits of Electronics


Thanks to a development at Michigan State Univ., the near future could include electronic tablets that can be easily stretched from mini-size to large, wallpaper that turns a room’s walls into a large display, and wearable health monitors.

Led by Chuan Wang, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, the engineers have developed the first stretchable thin-film transistors (TFTs) and logic circuits made entirely with an inkjet printer. The TFTs and circuits can be stretched beyond 50% strain for thousands of cycles with no significant degradation in electrical performance.

“We can conceivably make the costs of producing flexible electronics comparable to the costs of printing newspapers,” Wang says. “Our work could soon lead to printed displays that can be easily stretched to larger sizes, as well as wearable electronics and soft robotics applications.”

Stretchability can be conferred to electronics in two ways. The first is structural stretchability, in...

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