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Nat Commun. 2014;5:3266. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4266.

Fractal design concepts for stretchable electronics.

Author information

1
1] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 South Goodwin Ave, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA [2] Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews M/C 251, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA [3].
2
1] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 South Goodwin Ave, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA [2] Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, 401 West Main St, Richmond, Virginia 23284, USA [3].
3
1] Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Center for Engineering and Health, Skin Disease Research Center, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA [2] Center for Mechanics and Materials, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China [3].
4
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 South Goodwin Ave, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
5
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea.
6
1] Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Center for Engineering and Health, Skin Disease Research Center, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA [2] Center for Mechanics and Materials, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
7
Institute of High Performance Computing, A*Star, Singapore 138632, Singapore.
8
Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Center for Engineering and Health, Skin Disease Research Center, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
9
Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC 0412, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.
10
HRL Laboratories, LLC, 3011 Malibu Canyon Road, Malibu, California 90265, USA.
11
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews M/C 251, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
12
1] Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 South Goodwin Ave, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA [2] Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, 405 N. Mathews M/C 251, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.

Abstract

Stretchable electronics provide a foundation for applications that exceed the scope of conventional wafer and circuit board technologies due to their unique capacity to integrate with soft materials and curvilinear surfaces. The range of possibilities is predicated on the development of device architectures that simultaneously offer advanced electronic function and compliant mechanics. Here we report that thin films of hard electronic materials patterned in deterministic fractal motifs and bonded to elastomers enable unusual mechanics with important implications in stretchable device design. In particular, we demonstrate the utility of Peano, Greek cross, Vicsek and other fractal constructs to yield space-filling structures of electronic materials, including monocrystalline silicon, for electrophysiological sensors, precision monitors and actuators, and radio frequency antennas. These devices support conformal mounting on the skin and have unique properties such as invisibility under magnetic resonance imaging. The results suggest that fractal-based layouts represent important strategies for hard-soft materials integration.

PMID:
24509865
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4266
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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