Researchers from US based Michigan State University have developed the first stretchable integrated circuit (IC) made entirely using an inkjet printer.
This elastic material is made up of several materials fabricated from nanomaterials and organic compounds. These compounds are dissolved in solution to produce different electronic inks, which can easily run through printer to make devices.
- Using the ink, the researchers have successfully created the elastic material, the circuit and the organic light-emitting diode (OLED). The next step is combining the circuit and OLED into a single pixel.
- Benefits: As the material is produced using a standard printer, it has a major potential cost advantage over current technologies that are expensive to manufacture.
- Besides, stretchable electronic fabric can be easily folded and put in one’s pocket without breaking.
- Potential applications: The new stretchable ICs can be used in smart tablet that could be stretched in size, from small to extra-large.
- Besides, it can be used in wearable electronics like rubber band-like wrist monitor that measures the wearer’s heartbeat, soft robotics applications and wallpaper that turns an entire wall into an electronic display.