Deformable electronics, including flexible, stretchable and wearable electronics, are revolutionizing everything from smartphones to bio-integrated medical devices. However, current manufacturing methods are not scalable, have low yield, and produce devices that are overly expensive and fragile. Presently, flexible electronics can either be packaged by building the electrical device directly on elastic polymer substrates, or by first building the device on top of thick silicon substrate and then transferring it onto an elastic substrate. The former is limited by temperature, as the polymer substrate is not compatible with the CMOS/high-temperature processes needed to manufacture high-performance devices, and the latter is limited by size, as too great an area or thickness causes catastrophic strain when the device is removed from the silicon. Therefore, there is need for a new packaging approach that will enable manufacturers to economically produce durable deformable devices at any scale.
Researchers at ASU have developed a flexible packaging method based on the paper-folding practice of origami that generates high performance, fully-foldable electronic systems at any scale. This origami-based platform is compatible with CMOS/high temperature processes because no polymer materials are involved, and is robustly scalable because packages do not need detached from a sacrificial substrate. This eliminates transfer strain on the serpentine interconnecting structures, which have been specially designed to incur minimal deformation. This packaging method allows high-volume manufacturing, provides extensive functionality, reduces cost and assembly space, and improves the performance and long-term reliability of deformable electronic devices. Furthermore, it has already enabled ASU researchers to create origami solar cells and collapsible lithium ion batteries.
- Bio-Integrated Devices
- Collapsible Li-Ion Batteries
- Elastomer Sensors
- Flexible Screen Displays
- Foldable, Stretchable, and Wearable Electronics
- Origami Solar Cells
Benefits and Advantages
- Durable – Improves the performance and reliability of deformable devices.
- Economical – Reduces cost and assembly space.
- Innovative – CMOS/high temperature process compatibility permits high-volume manufacturing and packaging of larger, high-performance deformable devices.
- Can be scaled up or down for nano, micro, or macro level manufacturing.
- Compatible with current industry standard technologies.
For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see