Soft Materials for Flexible, Stretchable Hybrid Electronics

Project: Research project

Project Details


Printed electronics based on mechanically agile thin-film transistors (TFTs) and circuitry is a revolutionary new technology of great DoD relevance for fabricating unconventional optoelectronics using high-throughput, inexpensive solution processing/printing on flexible/stretchable substrates. The enabling materials objectives are to understand/implement the science underlying the design of: 1) flexible/stretchable printable semiconductors, dielectrics, and contacts; 2) mechanically flexible, stretchable, lightweight circuits for displays, sensors, medical diagnostics, and energy harvesting/storage, integrated with inexpensive plastics and textiles; 3) bio-electronics with soft/biocompatible/bio-degradable circuitry for tissues and organs. Combining these new materials will yield key circuit elements such as resistors, transistors, capacitors, and combinations thereof, where new functionalities will require mechanical agility, bio-compatibility, and electronics on unconventional substrates, and new processing methodologies for device fabrication. This proposal outlines a program to build on previous achievements, and to design and realize new solution-processable, printable, electronic and passive materials, and to integrate them into flexible and stretchable electronics. We will achieve these objectives through the three interconnected tasks. Task 1. Active/Passive Materials. Here we will design, synthesize, characterize, and implement for this program semiconductors, dielectrics, and conductors which are solution-processable at low temperatures using solvents compatible with “soft” substrates. Task 2. Materials Integration on Soft Substrates. Once acceptable TFT solution processability and charge transport metrics are achieved, the next task will be integration into building block circuits on substrates such as elastomers, sacrificial transfer films, and tissues. Task 3. Stretchable Device Fabrication. Here we will fabricate printed devices on stretchable TFT/circuit platforms, including those for displays, sensors, e-tags, and e-skin. Specifically, we will investigate fabrication on stretchable plastic foils and tissues using printing techniques. The products of Tasks 1-3 will be a versatile set of innovative materials enabling the fabrication of DoD-relevant electronic devices.
Effective start/end date5/1/184/30/21


  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-18-1-0320-P00002)


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