Failure of Electronic Materials

Microelectronic technology has revolutionized many aspects of our life, from computing, communications, to all devices and systems involving electronic components. However, many important applications require electronics to be fully stretchable such that they can flex and stretch to function as stretchable electronics.

Most existing research efforts on stretchable electronics focus on the organic-based stretchable electronics because it is generally conceived that the widely used silicon is brittle and cannot be stretched. However, the disappointing charge mobility of organic-based semiconductor materials makes it unsuitable for intensive computing. It is critical to use silicon, the dominating material in current mature products such as Pentium chips, to develop stretchable electronics. Some sophisticated design of silicon thin film/flexible substrate system is required to make silicon stretchable, such as to make silicon thin film wavy on an extremely compliant substrate. Mechanics plays a key role in such development.