Simulating a “net” flexible electronic


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Flexible electronics could lead to advancements in medical technology, smart devices and more, but their manufacturing must balance electric performance and stretchability, according to Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State. Cheng led an international team of researchers to simulate a net-like electronic thin film anchored to bumps on the below material. They published their findings in the International Journal of Applied Mechanics in January. 

As the below material is stretched, the net is pulled taut — but it can also hang more loosely downward when the base is compressed. The modeled film retains its properties when stretched or slack, and its capacity to hang inward can help keep it from being ripped or caught on other objects. With this theoretical framework, the researchers are a step closer to enabling flexible supercapacitors, batteries, LEDs and photovoltaic devices that require coverage over a significant area without compromising performance, Cheng said.


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