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Proceedings Paper

Radio-frequency flexible and stretchable electronics: the need, challenges and opportunities
Author(s): Yei Hwan Jung; Jung-Hun Seo; Huilong Zhang; Juhwan Lee; Sang June Cho; Tzu-Hsuan Chang; Zhenqiang Ma
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Paper Abstract

Successful integration of ultrathin flexible or stretchable systems with new applications, such as medical devices and biodegradable electronics, have intrigued many researchers and industries around the globe to seek materials and processes to create high-performance, non-invasive and cost-effective electronics to match those of state-of-the-art devices. Nevertheless, the crucial concept of transmitting data or power wirelessly for such unconventional devices has been difficult to realize due to limitations of radio-frequency (RF) electronics in individual components that form a wireless circuitry, such as antenna, transmission line, active devices, passive devices etc. To overcome such challenges, these components must be developed in a step-by-step manner, as each component faces a number of different challenges in ultrathin formats. Here, we report on materials and design considerations for fabricating flexible and stretchable electronics systems that operate in the microwave level. High-speed flexible active devices, including cost effective Si-based strained MOSFETs, GaAs-based HBTs and GaN-based HEMTs, performing at multi-gigahertz frequencies are presented. Furthermore, flexible or stretchable passive devices, including capacitors, inductors and transmission lines that are vital parts of a microwave circuitry are also demonstrated. We also present unique applications using the presented flexible or stretchable RF components, including wearable RF electronics and biodegradable RF electronics, which were impossible to achieve using conventional rigid, wafer-based technology. Further opportunities like implantable systems exist utilizing such ultrathin RF components, which are discussed in this report as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 May 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10194, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX, 101941C (18 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2263239
Show Author Affiliations
Yei Hwan Jung, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Jung-Hun Seo, Univ. of Buffalo (United States)
Huilong Zhang, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Juhwan Lee, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Sang June Cho, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Tzu-Hsuan Chang, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Zhenqiang Ma, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10194:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX
Thomas George; Achyut K. Dutta; M. Saif Islam, Editor(s)

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