Designing Thin, Ultrastretchable Electronics with Stacked Circuits and Elastomeric Encapsulation Materials
Many recently developed soft, skin‐like electronics with high performance circuits and low modulus encapsulation materials can accommodate large bending, stretching, and twisting deformations. Their compliant mechanics also allows for intimate, nonintrusive integration to the curvilinear surfaces of soft biological tissues. By introducing a stacked circuit construct, the functional density of these systems can be greatly improved, yet their desirable mechanics may be compromised due to the increased overall thickness. To address this issue, the results presented here establish design guidelines for optimizing the deformable properties of stretchable electronics with stacked circuit layers. The effects of three contributing factors (i.e., the silicone interlayer, the composite encapsulation, and the deformable interconnects) on the stretchability of a multilayer system are explored in detail via combined experimental observation, finite element modeling, and theoretical analysis. Finally, an electronic module with optimized design is demonstrated. This highly deformable system can be repetitively folded, twisted, or stretched without observable influences to its electrical functionality. The ultrasoft, thin nature of the module makes it suitable for conformal biointegration.
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