Elastic electronic devices are one step closer: Samsung already has a prototype capable of stretching 30%

Elastic electronic devices are one step closer: Samsung already has a prototype capable of stretching 30%
elastic electronic devices are one step closer: samsung already has

Elastic electronic devices are one step closer: Samsung already has a prototype capable of stretching 30%

Flexible OLED displays have lifted the ban. Not only have they shown us that it is possible to develop electronic devices equipped with some degree of flexibility, but also something that if possible is even more important: that this technology is useful if it is applied where it can contribute something.

The next natural step is to develop not only flexible displays, but also elastic electronic circuits that can coexist with these screens to allow us to devise devices that can be used in completely new use scenarios.

Some research groups have been working on this idea for a long time, but they have run into a challenge that is not easy to overcome: the need to design an elastic substrate that withstands the mechanical stress that elongation entails without degrading or fracturing.

This material must act as a structural support for the electronic components that will be housed on it, which is why, in addition, it also has to withstand thermal stress that carry the photolithographic processes that we currently use. And the problem is that the elastic materials that researchers have used so far are very sensitive to heat.

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The first elastic biometric device is now ready

Fortunately, Samsung researchers have found the solution to this challenge. And they have done it by attacking the problem from the root. Their proposal has been published in the scientific journal ‘Science Advances’, and collects that they have managed to design an elastic polymeric compound which is capable of acting as a substrate and withstanding severe mechanical elongation without degrading and without this stress preventing it from recovering its original size.

In addition, this new material is very resistant to thermal stress, so it is compatible with the photolithographic processes that we currently use. Two of the challenges in the development of elastic electronic devices appear to have been solved, but this is not all.

The new material developed by these researchers is highly resistant to thermal stress, making it compatible with the photolithographic processes that we currently use.

In their article, these researchers also explain that they have designed electronic components that manage to withstand the mechanical stress associated with elongation without degrading. nor lose its electrical properties. This technology is taking its first steps, and it is undeniable that there is still much to do, but this innovation invites us to face the future of these devices with optimism.

In any case, we have not yet asked ourselves the most important question: in which device have they deposited this technology? His first proposal combines the elastic substrate, a tiny flexible OLED screen and a sensor in a single device that is capable of measuring and displaying in real time. heart rate of the user.

Stretchable Oled Main2

Although it is only a prototype, the elastic biometric device that Samsung researchers have developed invites us to contemplate the future of these devices with optimism.

This biometric device is quite compact and adheres directly to the user’s skin (you can see it in the cover photo of this article). According to its creators, it can be expanded to increase its surface by 30% without degrading the slightest, and withstands 1000 elongations without flinching.

It is only a prototype that aims to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of this technology, but along the way it has confirmed that biometric elastic devices allow us to take measurements without interruption and With more precision than the traditional ones because they adhere directly to our skin and it is possible to place them in the ideal area (this prototype is housed next to the wrist and on the radial artery).

In addition, their elasticity makes them very comfortable, so the user can use them while sleeping or exercising. After all, they are able to bear the same mechanical stress than our skin. And the possibility of incorporating their own flexible screen allows us to dispense with the need to send the information they collect to an external screen, such as that of our mobile phone.

Although, as we have seen, this Samsung device is only a prototype, it begins a very interesting path because it places before us the possibility of developing biometric devices more accurate and less intrusive. There is also the possibility that they have a positive impact on the lives of some people, and this is always good news.

Samsung has confirmed that its goal is to refine this technology enough to make it possible large-scale production of this type of elastic biometric devices. But this is not all. The researchers who have designed this heart rate reader hope to develop other similar devices capable of measuring oxygen saturation, the electrical activity of our body’s neuromuscular system or blood pressure. It paints well, right?

| Samsung