Researchers at the University of Houston reported significant progress in stretch electronics, moving the field closer to commercialization.
In an article published Friday, February 1, Scientific AchievementsThey outlined the progress in the production of stretchable rubber semiconductors, including rubber integrated electronics, logic circuits and ordered sensor skins entirely based on rubber materials.
Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Houston University and author of the paper, said work could lead to significant advances in intelligent devices such as robotic skins, implantable bioelectronics, and human machine interfaces.
Yu had previously reported a semiconductor breakthrough with a mechanical stretch, similar to a rubber band, in 2017.
This work, he says, continues with the improved mobility of the carrier and the integrated electronics.
"We report fully rubberized semiconductor integrated electronics electronics with high effective mobility … obtained by introducing metallic carbon nanotubes into a semiconductor rubber semiconductor with penetration of organic semiconductor nanofibrils," the researchers wrote. "This increase of the carrier's mobility is achieved by providing fast roads and hence shortened transportation distance.
The mobility of the carrier or the speed at which the electrons can move through the material is crucial for the electronic device to work successfully, as it controls the ability of the semiconductor transistors to amplify the current.
Previous stretchable semiconductors have been hampered by the low mobility of the media as well as the complex manufacturing requirements. For this work, the researchers found that the addition of small quantities of carbon nanotubes to the P3HT rubber polydimethylsiloxane composite rubber resulted in improved mobility of the carrier by providing what Y. described as a "highway" to accelerate the transport of carrier through semiconductors.
In addition to Yu, the report's researchers include the first author Kyoseung Sim and co-authors Zhoulyu Rao, Anish Thukral and Hyunseok Shim, all from UH, and Hae-Jin Kim, a former post-doctoral at UH, who is now at Gyeongsang National University in Chinju, .
Future work, said Yu, will include further enhancing carrier mobility and building more sophisticated, hierarchical and high-level integrated digital schemes to meet the requirements for integrated circuits, biomedical and other applications.
Source of History:
Materials provided by University of Houston, Original written by Ginny Kever. Note: Content can be edited for style and length.