It is challenging to fabricate electrodes on soft and stretchable substrates such as polymers and elastomers using existing techniques developed for silicon, glass or foil substrates (on which electrodes are more commonly fabricated). This is due to the significantly different chemical and physical properties between these substrates.
These differences generally result in: higher densities of defects, including cracks in the substrate and/or in the electrodes; limited resolutions when using conventional electrode patterning methods; poor adhesion of electrode materials to the substrate; and low surface areas of the electrodes, which can be particularly problematic in the context of biosensors and other wearable or implantable bio-electronic devices.
Researchers at the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics (CIMLAE), University of Cambridge have developed and patented a manufacturing process which address these issues and have produced highly stretchable, high-resolution electronic devices. They are now looking for opportunities to commercially develop and license their technology.
- Intrinsically scalable manufacturing methods
- Chemical compatibility with common polymers and elastomers
- Process can be tuned to desired level of stretchability – up to 20% (for total extension of 120%) achieved
- High-resolution fabrication enabling small, high-sensitivity sensors (down to 50nm features)