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Researchers create 'rubber-band electronics'
Date:7/3/2012

loss of conductivity in stretchable electronics. Circuits made from solid metals that are on the market today can survive a small amount of stretch, but their electrical conductivity plummets by 100 times when stretched. "This conductivity loss really defeats the point of stretchable electronics," Huang said.

Huang's team has found a way to overcome these challenges. First, they created a highly porous three-dimensional structure using a polymer material, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), that can stretch to three times its original size. Then they placed a liquid metal (EGaIn) inside the pores, allowing electricity to flow consistently even when the material is excessively stretched.

The result is a material that is both highly stretchable and extremely conductive.

"By combining a liquid metal in a porous polymer, we achieved 200 percent stretchability in a material that does not suffer from stretch," Huang said. "Once you achieve that technology, any electronic can behave like a rubber band."

The graduate student Shuodao Wang at Northwestern University is a co-author of the paper.


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Contact: Pat Vaughan Tremmel
p-tremmel@northwestern.edu
847-491-4892
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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