Mechanical Testing for Stretchable Electronics

[+] Author and Article Information
Steven Klein

Intel Corporation 5000 W Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ, 85226

Aleksandar Aleksov

Intel Corporation 5000 W Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ, 85226

Vijay Subramanian

Intel Corporation 5000 W Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ, 85226

Pramod Malatkar

Intel Corporation 5000 W Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ, 85226

Ravi Mahajan

Intel Corporation 5000 W Chandler Blvd., Chandler, AZ, 85226

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036389 History: Received December 26, 2016; Revised April 03, 2017


Stretchable electronics have been a subject of increased research over the past decade [1-3]. Although stretchable electronic devices are a relatively new area for the semiconductor/electronics industries, recent market research indicates the market could be worth more than 900 million dollars by 2023 [4]. At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in January 2016, two commercial patches were announced which attach to the skin to measure information about the user’s vitals and environmental conditions [5]. This paper investigates mechanical testing methods designed to test the stretching capabilities of potential products across the electronics industry to help quantify and understand the mechanical integrity, response, and the reliability of these devices. Typically, the devices consist of stiff modules connected by stretchable traces [6]. There has been a test method proposed recently for harsh / high-rate testing (shock) of stretchable electronics [7]. The focus of the approach presented in the paper aims to simulate expected user conditions in the consumer and medical fields, whereas earlier research was focused on shock testing. In this paper, methods for simulating bi-axial and out-of-plane strains similar to what may occur in a wearable device on the human body are proposed. Electrical and / or optical monitoring (among other methods) can be used to determine cycles to failure depending on expected failure modes. Failure modes can include trace damage in stretchable regions, trace damage in functional component regions, or bulk stretchable material damage, among others.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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