Beyond Flexible - Next Generation Materials Enable Conformable Electronics

A. Behr
Panasonic,
United States

Keywords: flexible electronics

Summary:

Stretchable electronics represent the next wave of flexible electronics. Electronic device manufacturers are seeking alternatives to conventional methods for creating wiring patterns and interconnecting components that are more conformable, elastic and durable than those being made with available polymers. Researchers from Panasonic Electronic Materials are developing a proprietary non-silicone thermosetting stretchable polymer technology which may address many of the challenges associated with other stretchable thermoplastic and thermosetting polymer materials. This resin is currently being used in a number of developmental embodiments including a stretchable film which exhibits some unique and attractive properties. The material has good elongation properties (stretching up to 170 %) and the current version of the film has a stress relaxation value in excess of 60% at 50% elongation which is attractive for epidermal devices where skin comfort is a design priority. The polymer also exhibits very low hysteresis - well under 1%, which means that it incurs practically no permanent deformation after elongation. It also has a high temperature resistance. The film does not melt or degrade even after floating in solder at 260°C. Polymer decomposition occurs around 325C. Encapsulated constructions have been made by laminating b-staged film over circuits, components and other features.