Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have developed the first stretchable integrated circuit that is made using an inkjet printer, a breakthrough they say could lead to the inexpensive mass production of smart fabric.
"Our work could soon lead to printed displays that can easily be stretched to larger sizes, as well as wearable electronics and soft robotics applications," says MSU professor Chuan Wang.
The smart fabric consists of several materials fabricated from nanomaterials and organic compounds. These compounds are dissolved in solution to produce different electronic inks, which are run through the printer to make the devices. The MSU researchers used the ink to create the elastic material, the circuit, and the organic light-emitting diode (OLED).
The researchers say the next step is combining the circuit and the OLED into a single pixel, at which point the smart fabric could be commercialized.
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