Materials and processing approaches for foundry-compatible transient electronics

Jan Kai Chang, Hui Fang, Christopher A. Bower, Enming Song, Xinge Yu, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Foundry-based routes to transient silicon electronic devices have the potential to serve as the manufacturing basis for "green" electronic devices, biodegradable implants, hardware secure data storage systems, and unrecoverable remote devices. This article introduces materials and processing approaches that enable state-of-the-art silicon complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) foundries to be leveraged for high-performance, water-soluble forms of electronics. The key elements are (i) collections of biodegradable electronic materials (e.g., silicon, tungsten, silicon nitride, silicon dioxide) and device architectures that are compatible with manufacturing procedures currently used in the integrated circuit industry, (ii) release schemes and transfer printing methods for integration of multiple ultrathin components formed in this way onto biodegradable polymer substrates, and (iii) planarization and metallization techniques to yield interconnected and fully functional systems. Various CMOS devices and circuit elements created in this fashion and detailed measurements of their electrical characteristics highlight the capabilities. Accelerated dissolution studies in aqueous environments reveal the chemical kinetics associated with the underlying transient behaviors. The results demonstrate the technical feasibility for using foundry-based routes to sophisticated forms of transient electronic devices, with functional capabilities and cost structures that could support diverse applications in the biomedical, military, industrial, and consumer industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E5523-E5529
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 11 2017


  • Biodegradable electronics
  • Hydrolysis
  • Soft electronics
  • Transfer printing
  • Undercut etching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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