Researchers devise new method for flexible electronics


In a new development, a team of researchers of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the University of Science and Technology of China have proposed a simple, fast, and clean flexible electronics preparation technology to address key challenges of materials and fabrication techniques.

Technically, flexible electronics refer to electronic devices that are constructed on conformable or moldable substrates. Organic flexible electronics were proposed as one of the leading 10 scientific and technological developments by Science in 2000.

Meanwhile, due to rapid advancement in the information era, flexible electronics are considered to be of high value and have been used in various fields such as human-computer interaction, electronic skin, and implantable medical systems.

With the foray of IoT into a new stage, highly integrated and multifunctional flexible electronic systems are immedaitely required to meet more complex application needs. In an increasingly difficult environmental and energy challenges scenario, a research team at the University of Science and Technology of China put forward a simple, fast, and green flexible electronics preparation technology.

The work involved preparing the thermoplastic polyurethane membrane by electrospinning. The thermoplastic polyurethane membrane is used as a substrate with liquid metal printed into the various patterns on the substrate through premade templates. Thermoplastic polyurethane and liquid metal nanofibers display good response during the assembly. The finding is encouraging because scientists have been attempting to alter liquid metal or substrate materials to achieve printing and writing of liquid metal due to its low affinity with most substrates.

The system appears to be a typical sandwich structure, which means that the system is constructed one layer on top of the other wherein each layer is composed of a thermoplastic polyurethane membrane and liquid metal printed on it.

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