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Flexible Electronics – Controled crackformation in expandable substrates


Ref.-Nr. 4149

Flexible electronics suffer from the problem that semiconductor devices and metallic conductors allow a much lower elongation than the polymer substrate. Thus a high level of stress appears when such different materials are combined.  When a force is applied, these local stress peaks lead to the formation of cracks in the more rigid phase. Different strategies exist in the literature to avoid the formation of cracks, all with certain limitations. The technology presented here follows a different approach: It does not try to avoid cracks, but lets them take place in a predefined pattern. The devices are placed and connected via the save areas between the cracks. Polymer substrates can be hardened for example by UV radiation. By use of a suitable shadow mask soft islands with an anisotropic geometry in a rigid surrounding can be processed, which guide cracks along defined directions. A combination with other technologies like wrinkling is possible.

Keywords: flexibel electronics, crack, substrate, crackformation, smart textiles, biosensor   

Commercial Opportunities

The presented technology allows to fabricate electronic circuits on deformable substrates for devices with changing shape. A great potential is expected in emerging markets like smart textiles, biosensors or conformal coatings in the automotive interior. Licenses can be given to interested companies. Collaborations to evaluate the technology for industrial production are also welcome.

Competitive Advantages

  • Enables non rigid substrates 
  • Controls crack formation. 
  • Adjustable design
  • Scalable and cheap fabrication process 
  • Patent pending

Current Status                                                                                                       

A patent application for this technology has been filed at the German Patent Office (DPMA) and has been published as DE102015011066A1. A further detailed description of the invention and scientific results can be provided on request.

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Rolf Klingelberger
+49.208 94105-28

Rolf Klingelberger

Dieses Angebot


PROvendis GmbH · Schloßstr. 11 – 15
D – 45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr
T +49 (0)208 94105-0 ·