Engineers have created the world’s fastest stretchable, wearable integrated circuits

Wearable electronics are growing in popularity every year, and they can do everything from monitoring your internals, keeping track of your overall health and even purify the air you’re breathing.

All of this can be done wirelessly, and now thanks to a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we may soon have the quickest, most flexible, wearable integrated circuits in the world.

This development could quickly lead to a much more connected high-speed world, no cables required.

Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, a Lynn H. Matthias Professor in Engineering at UW-Madison has published the latest creation in the May 27th issue of Advanced Functional Materials Journal.

In the study, their great and amazingly efficient integrated circuits were discussed in detail.

The advancement has created a new platform for manufacturers who are looking for ways to expand their capabilities and applications for their wearable electronics.

This is a critical step as companies are seeking to develop devices that can be part of a whole new generation of wireless broadband technologies, which include 5G capabilities.

By switching to 5G, networks will be able to accommodate the ever-growing number of cell phone users as well as provide faster data speeds and larger coverage areas.

This technology is also something that can be used in the biomedical field, such as in an intensive care unit where epidermal electronic systems would allow health care providers to monitor their patients wirelessly.

The new stretchy integrated circuits are stronger than previous technologies due to their unique structure which contains two ultra-tiny intertwining power transmission lines that wrap in S-curves, which is built together in a repeating pattern – a structure inspired by twisted-pair telephone cables.

The new transmission lines are a lot smaller in width than their 640-micrometer counterparts, boasting a thickness of only 25 micrometers.

Not only does this make them more efficient in epidermal electronic systems but also a wide range of other applications as well.

Ma’s team has been working on the development of active transistor devices for about ten years now, and these latest advancements provide the highest frequency and most flexible electronics created thus far.

Ma says the team has found a way to integrate active high-frequency transistors into a useful circuit that can be completely wireless, opening the door for a whole lot of new and exciting capabilities.

 

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