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Issue 23, 2010
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Microfluidic stretchable RF electronics

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Stretchable electronics is a revolutionary technology that will potentially create a world of radically different electronic devices and systems that open up an entirely new spectrum of possibilities. This article proposes a microfluidic based solution for stretchable radio frequency (RF) electronics, using hybrid integration of active circuits assembled on flex foils and liquid alloy passive structures embedded in elastic substrates, e.g. polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). This concept was employed to implement a 900 MHz stretchable RF radiation sensor, consisting of a large area elastic antenna and a cluster of conventional rigid components for RF power detection. The integrated radiation sensor except the power supply was fully embedded in a thin elastomeric substrate. Good electrical performance of the standalone stretchable antenna as well as the RF power detection sub-module was verified by experiments. The sensor successfully detected the RF radiation over 5 m distance in the system demonstration. Experiments on two-dimensional (2D) stretching up to 15%, folding and twisting of the demonstrated sensor were also carried out. Despite the integrated device was severely deformed, no failure in RF radiation sensing was observed in the tests. This technique illuminates a promising route of realizing stretchable and foldable large area integrated RF electronics that are of great interest to a variety of applications like wearable computing, health monitoring, medical diagnostics, and curvilinear electronics.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic stretchable RF electronics

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The article was received on 20 Apr 2010, accepted on 27 Aug 2010 and first published on 29 Sep 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C005159D
Citation: Lab Chip, 2010,10, 3227-3234
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    Microfluidic stretchable RF electronics

    S. Cheng and Z. Wu, Lab Chip, 2010, 10, 3227
    DOI: 10.1039/C005159D

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