University of Science and Technology of China proposes a new technology for the preparation of new f

The reporter learned from the University of Science and Technology of China (hereinafter referred to as USTC) on January 4, 2022 that Zhao Gang's research group from the School of Information proposed a new flexible electronic device preparation technology that combines nanofiber electrospinning and liquid metal template printing. The relevant research results were recently published in the international journal "ACS Nano".

With the rapid development of the Internet of Things, simple flexible electronic devices can no longer meet the increasingly complex application scenarios, so there is an urgent need to research and develop multi-functional and highly integrated flexible electronic systems. Currently, materials and fabrication techniques are still the main factors restricting the development and commercialization of flexible electronics, because during the fabrication of flexible electronic devices, researchers have to consider not only their physical, chemical, and functional properties, but also user comfort and security, etc. At the same time, the increasingly severe environmental and energy problems have also brought great challenges to the development of human society. The recyclability, self-healing and reconfigurability of electronic devices have also become key issues that developers need to consider. Flexible electronic devices obtained by traditional materials and manufacturing processes often cannot simultaneously achieve the above properties, and the manufacturing process usually requires expensive equipment, complicated steps, high standard operating environment and specified material properties. Limited by these factors, the large-scale integration and packaging of flexible electronics and the fabrication of multilayer flexible electronic devices remain a thorny problem.

In response to the above challenges, Zhao Gang's research group from the School of Information, University of Science and Technology of China proposed a simple, fast and green preparation technology for flexible electronic devices. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) nanofiber membranes were obtained as flexible substrates by electrospinning technology, and then liquid metal (LM) patterned circuits were constructed on the substrate membranes using template printing. Furthermore, flexible circuits, resistors, capacitors, inductors, and their composite devices can be parametrically fabricated through a layer-by-layer assembly strategy. The flexible electronic devices prepared by this scheme have excellent stretchability, air permeability, and stability, and at the same time they are multilayer and reconfigurable.

(Originally published in "Science and Technology Daily" 2022-01-13 05 edition)

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