Wearable, Foldable Electronics and Other Novel Systems

Further miniaturization of modern integrated circuitry achieved on a flexible substrate could enable many novel devices and applications, including wearable and foldable electronics at the cellular and subcellular level with uses in health, biology, and remote and dispersible sensing.

Achieving this feat requires the reduction of lateral feature sizes and thickness. The ultimate thickness leads to integrated circuits that are only few atoms thick, a limit yet to be realized with a fundamental shift in properties and applications.

Jiwoong Park, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and his research colleagues aim to create, deploy, control, and apply atomically thin, membrane-like integrated circuits and devices that can fold, unfold, interact, and communicate at the cellular and subcellular level. Such ultrathin, substrate-free circuits will be over a 1,000 times more flexible and bendable than current flexible electronics, which will enable folded, three-dimensional structures with nanoscale features and previously unexplored mechanical, physical, and surface properties.

In addition to cellular-level wearable, foldable electronics, these novel properties offer revolutionary applications, such as microscopic deployable structures whose surface area can increase by several orders of magnitude upon actuation and aeroplankton-like deployable sensors that are aerosolized and dispersed in microscopic droplets.

This six-member MURI team (Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative) with collaborating scientists and engineers at Cornell, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins Universities and U.S. Department of Defense laboratories will explore and solve fundamental scientific and engineering challenges in the fabrication, transformation, communication, integration, and deployment of systems constructed from atomically-thin, flexible, substrate-free films of two-dimensional layered materials (2DLMs).

Cornell Researchers

Funding Received

$7.5 Million spanning 5 years

Sponsored by

Other Research Sponsored by United States Department of Defense, Air Force Office of Scientific Research