What is it about?

Flexible rubber-like materials are the backbone of stretchable and flexible electronics. Materials like polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) have long been used for this purpose. However, the ever-increasing demand for these materials and the difficulty in their frequent availability have also increased their cost. Therefore, in this study, we have reported various research results related to BS-8599 V7 elastomer, a commonly available low-cost, silicone-based polymer as an alternative to PDMS and PET. The mechanical properties of the polymer are determined using ASTM standards. Thermal behaviour is studied using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) with hardness and elongation tests. The chemical integrity of the polymer is observed by its mass decomposition in various chemical environments. We have also demonstrated the compatibility of the polymer with human skin by attaching it to the inner forearm for more than 12 hours. Finally, we coated a thin film of Zinc Oxide nanoparticle ink, a piezoelectric material, to prove its application for low-cost, stretchable, flexible thin film devices.

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Why is it important?

Due to a paradigm shift in thin film electronics, the demand for materials like PDMS and PET is increasing, which has also increased their cost. Therefore, a cost-effective alternative is inevitable for low-cost, stretchable, flexible electronic devices. This article presents a cost-effective polymer as an alternate solution to PDMS and PET. The results show that the described polymer can be used as a low-cost alternate substrate platform for various MEMS-based applications.

Perspectives

The analysis of the experimental data reveals that this material is highly stretchable and flexible, chemically inert, possesses good thermal stability, and can be used as a low-cost alternate substrate platform for future MEMS-based applications.

Shehroze Tahir Khan
NED University of Engineering and Technology

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This page is a summary of: Characterizations of a Cost-Effective Single Component Polymer for Stretchable and Flexible Microelectromechanical Systems Applications, Journal of Testing and Evaluation, September 2022, ASTM International, DOI: 10.1520/jte20220161.
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