A Generic Soft Encapsulation Strategy for Stretchable Electronics

Kan Li, Xu Cheng, Feng Zhu, Linze Li, Zhaoqian Xie, Haiwen Luan, Zhouheng Wang, Ziyao Ji, Heling Wang, Fei Liu, Yeguang Xue, Changqing Jiang, Xue Feng, Luming Li, John A. Rogers, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Recent progress in stretchable forms of inorganic electronic systems has established a route to new classes of devices, with particularly unique capabilities in functional biointerfaces, because of their mechanical and geometrical compatibility with human tissues and organs. A reliable approach to physically and chemically protect the electronic components and interconnects is indispensable for practical applications. Although recent reports describe various options in soft, solid encapsulation, the development of approaches that do not significantly reduce the stretchability remains an area of continued focus. Herein, a generic, soft encapsulation strategy is reported, which is applicable to a wide range of stretchable interconnect designs, including those based on two-dimensional (2D) serpentine configurations, 2D fractal-inspired patterns, and 3D helical configurations. This strategy forms the encapsulation while the system is in a prestrained state, in contrast to the traditional approach that involves the strain-free configuration. A systematic comparison reveals that substantial enhancements (e.g., ≈6.0 times for 2D serpentine, ≈4.0 times for 2D fractal, and ≈2.6 times for 3D helical) in the stretchability can be achieved through use of the proposed strategy. Demonstrated applications in highly stretchable light-emitting diodes systems that can be mounted onto complex curvilinear surfaces illustrate the general capabilities in functional device systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1806630
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 21 2019


  • buckling
  • encapsulation method
  • soft elastomers
  • stretchable electronics
  • two-stage encapsulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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