Teams of researchers around the U.S. are using Kirigami, the art of paper cutting, as inspiration for developing flexible and stretchable electronics.
For example, researchers at the University of Michigan have applied Kirigami techniques at the microscopic level to conductors, making small incisions into sheets of conductive material to turn them into flexible meshes that can spread stress over a much larger, predictable area than the sheets themselves. The researchers say their method yields composite sheets that can withstand up to 370-percent strain, while the conductor in its normal state can only withstand 4-percent strain. The researchers think the meshes could eventually be overlapped to form the basis for flexible displays in consumer devices.
Meanwhile, a team at Arizona State University (ASU) is applying Kirigami to batteries. ASU professor Hanqing Jiang says the process his team is developing is like making a chain of paper dolls. The goal is to create a flexible battery that could be embedded in the band of a smartwatch. Jiang says the technology would both increase the device's battery life and free up space in the watch, enabling designers to make the device thinner.
From Popular Science
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