SOI-CMOS Compatible Technology for Flexible Electronics Developed
The trends society seems to set for technology can be interesting to think about. People want their devices to be smaller and lighter, yet at the same time they also want longer battery lives and larger screens. Another desire, which has not yet taken hold in the marketplace though, is for flexible electronics. Such devices should be more resilient to whatever we put them through, physically fit our needs better, and could even be cheaper, depending on how they are produced. Now researchers at Wayne State University have found a new way to produce flexible electronics that uses modern semiconductor fabrication methods.
This new technology is able to be produced with the similar techniques to those used for Silicon On Insulator (SOI) Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) based devices. The initial CMOS circuitry is fabricated onto SOI wafers, which is then sandwiched between two layers of a polymer, before being attached to a flexible substrate. While the substrate lets the device flex without breaking, the polymer layers seal out environmental moisture which could damage the circuitry.
Previous methods for making similar flexible CMOS devices have had the flaw of requiring the circuitry is first made on a hard substrate, before being transferred to a flexible one. This limited what circuitry could be made, but by instead making them directly on the flexible substrate more options are available, including the addition of microfluidic channels in the substrate itself.