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Thin-film stretchable electronics technology based on meandering interconnections: fabrication and mechanical performance

Rik Verplancke (UGent) , Frederick Bossuyt (UGent) , Dieter Cuypers (UGent) and Jan Vanfleteren (UGent)
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Abstract
A new fabrication technology for stretchable electrical interconnections is presented. This technology can be used to connect various non-stretchable polyimide islands hosting conventional electronic components. The interconnections are realized by patterning a 200 nm thick sputter-deposited gold film into meandering horseshoe shapes, functioning as 'two-dimensional springs' when embedded in a silicone elastomer. Polyimide support is introduced around the meandering conductors as a means to improve the mechanical performance. Processing is done on a temporary carrier; the islands and interconnections are embedded in polydimethylsiloxane in a final stage. To this end, a release technique compatible with high temperatures up to 350 °C based on the evaporation of a 400 nm thick layer of potassium chloride is developed. Test structures consisting of stretchable interconnections with a varying polyimide support width were fabricated. These were strained up to twice their original length without compromising their functionality. Also cyclic mechanical loading at various strains was performed, indicating the influence of the polyimide support width on the lifetime. At strains of 10%, a minimum lifetime of 500 000 cycles is demonstrated. The presented technology thus provides a promising route towards the fabrication of stretchable electronic circuits with enhanced reliability.
Keywords
CIRCUITS, METAL, DESIGN, HIGH-CONDUCTIVITY, MICROELECTRODE ARRAY

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Chicago
Verplancke, Rik, Frederick Bossuyt, Dieter Cuypers, and Jan Vanfleteren. 2012. “Thin-film Stretchable Electronics Technology Based on Meandering Interconnections: Fabrication and Mechanical Performance.” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 22 (1).
APA
Verplancke, R., Bossuyt, F., Cuypers, D., & Vanfleteren, J. (2012). Thin-film stretchable electronics technology based on meandering interconnections: fabrication and mechanical performance. JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING, 22(1).
Vancouver
1.
Verplancke R, Bossuyt F, Cuypers D, Vanfleteren J. Thin-film stretchable electronics technology based on meandering interconnections: fabrication and mechanical performance. JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING. 2012;22(1).
MLA
Verplancke, Rik, Frederick Bossuyt, Dieter Cuypers, et al. “Thin-film Stretchable Electronics Technology Based on Meandering Interconnections: Fabrication and Mechanical Performance.” JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING 22.1 (2012): n. pag. Print.
@article{2022773,
  abstract     = {A new fabrication technology for stretchable electrical interconnections is presented. This technology can be used to connect various non-stretchable polyimide islands hosting conventional electronic components. The interconnections are realized by patterning a 200 nm thick sputter-deposited gold film into meandering horseshoe shapes, functioning as 'two-dimensional springs' when embedded in a silicone elastomer. Polyimide support is introduced around the meandering conductors as a means to improve the mechanical performance. Processing is done on a temporary carrier; the islands and interconnections are embedded in polydimethylsiloxane in a final stage. To this end, a release technique compatible with high temperatures up to 350 {\textdegree}C based on the evaporation of a 400 nm thick layer of potassium chloride is developed. Test structures consisting of stretchable interconnections with a varying polyimide support width were fabricated. These were strained up to twice their original length without compromising their functionality. Also cyclic mechanical loading at various strains was performed, indicating the influence of the polyimide support width on the lifetime. At strains of 10\%, a minimum lifetime of 500 000 cycles is demonstrated. The presented technology thus provides a promising route towards the fabrication of stretchable electronic circuits with enhanced reliability.},
  articleno    = {015002},
  author       = {Verplancke, Rik and Bossuyt, Frederick and Cuypers, Dieter and Vanfleteren, Jan},
  issn         = {0960-1317},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING},
  keyword      = {CIRCUITS,METAL,DESIGN,HIGH-CONDUCTIVITY,MICROELECTRODE ARRAY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {9},
  title        = {Thin-film stretchable electronics technology based on meandering interconnections: fabrication and mechanical performance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0960-1317/22/1/015002},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2012},
}

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