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Stanford researchers develop new manufacturing technique for flexible electronics

Transfer process for 2D semiconductor with nanopatterned contacts (left) and photograph of flexible transparent substrate with transferred structures (right)
Image credit: Victoria Chen/Alwin Daus/Pop Lab
Jun 17 2021
Faculty, Fellow, Research, Stanford

Ultrathin, flexible computer circuits have been an engineering goal for years, but technical hurdles have prevented the degree of miniaturization necessary to achieve high performance. Now, researchers at Stanford University have invented a manufacturing technique that yields flexible, atomically thin transistors less than 100 nanometers in length – several times smaller than previously possible. The technique is detailed in a paper published June 17 in Nature Electronics.

With the advance, said the researchers, so-called “flextronics” move closer to reality. Flexible electronics promise bendable, shapeable, yet energy-efficient computer circuits that can be worn on or implanted in the human body to perform myriad health-related tasks. What’s more, the coming “internet of things,” in which almost every device in our lives is integrated and interconnected with flexible electronics, should similarly benefit from flextronics.

Study co-author, Victoria Chen, is a 2021 ARCS Fellow, and co-athour, Kirstin Schauble, is a 2017 SGF Fellow.

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