Would you like to have a television screen you can fold up and carry around in your pocket? Or a smartphone that bends easily, in case you accidentally sit on it? Researchers think there is a future in stretchable electronics and that these are needed for the next wave of new devices.
There are other, perhaps more serious applications, as well. These include artificial skin or electronics interwoven with clothing to take medical readings.
As a step forwards towards this goal, French scientists based at the EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) have developed conductive tracks. These electronic signalling devices can be bent and stretched up to four times their original length.
The creations look like rubber and they can pulled up to four times their length, in any direction. Furthermore, in trials, the tracks have been stretched over a million times without any loss to their electrical carrying potential. The ability to be stretched is seen as particularly important for producing materials to be used in conjunction with the human body.
More details can be seen in the video below:
The research is outlined in the journal Advanced Materials. The paper is headed “Intrinsically Stretchable Biphasic (Solid–Liquid) Thin Metal Films.”