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Research Leads to a Golden Discovery for Wearable Technology


An example of a gold foil peeled from single-crystal silicon.

Missouri S&T researchers have developed a way to "grow" thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials. They characterized this development as a breakthrough that could revolutionize wearable technology research.

Credit: Naveen Mahenderkar et al.

Missouri S&T researchers have developed a way to "grow" thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials.

The researchers say this breakthrough could revolutionize wearable technology research, greatly improving the versatility of such electronics in the future.

By starting with single-crystal silicon and growing gold foils on it, the researchers were able to keep the high order of silicon on the foil. Since the foil is gold, it is also highly durable and flexible.

The researchers faced a challenge in getting the gold to peel off as a sufficiently thin layer of foil, as gold typically bonds very well to silicon. "So we came up with this trick where we could photo-electrochemically oxidize the silicon," says Missouri S&T's Jay A. Switzer. "And the gold just slides off."

From Missouri S&T News
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