Sihong Wang1

1, Institute for Molecular Engineering, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

The vast amount of biological mysteries and biomedical challenges faced by human provide a prominent drive for seamlessly merging electronics with biological living systems (e.g. human bodies) to achieve long-term stable functions. Towards this trend, the main bottlenecks are the huge mechanical mismatch between the current form of rigid electronics and the soft biological tissues.

In this talk, I will first describe a new form of electronics with skin-like softness and stretchability, which is built upon a new class of intrinsically stretchable polymer materials and a new set of fabrication technology. As the core material basis, intrinsically stretchable polymer semiconductors have been developed through the physical engineering of polymer chain dynamics and crystallization based on the nanoconfinement effect. This fundamentally-new and universally-applicable methodology enables conjugated polymers to possess both high electrical-performance and extraordinary stretchability.[1] Then, proceeding towards building electronics with this new class of polymer materials, the first polymer-applicable fabrication platform has been designed for large-scale intrinsically stretchable transistor arrays.[2] As a whole, these renovations in the material basis and technology foundation have led to the realization of circuit-level functionalities for the processing of biological signals, with unprecedented mechanical deformability and skin conformability. Equipping electronics with human-compatible form-factors has opened a new paradigm for wearable and implantable bio-electronic tools for biological studies, personal healthcare, medical diagnosis and therapeutics.[3]

[1] J. Xu#, S. Wang# …… Z. Bao Science 355, 59-64 (2017).
[2] S. Wang#, J. Xu# …… Z. Bao Nature 555, 83-88 (2018).
[3] S. Wang#, J. Y. Oh#, J. Xu#, H. Tran, Z. Bao Accounts of Chemical Research 51, 1033–1045 (2018).