A team at University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by electrical and computer engineer Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma and materials scientist Max Lagally, have developed a simpler process to transfer thin films of single-crystal silicon (only a couple of hundred nanometers thick) to flexible polymers, opening a wide range of possibilities for flexible electronics.

Transferring single-crystal Si and GaAs to create thin-film transistors (TFTs) has been first demonstrated by John Rogers's group in UIUC in 2004 (See reference for further readings). The method used by Roger's group is "rather cubersome and somewhat limited". In a recent paper in Journal of Applied Physics , the Wisconsin team reported a simpler and more versatile dry-printing technique. In addition, they combine it with a membrane fabrication method to create strained-Si TFTs, which show much higher drain current and peak transconductance values than the identical
unstrained-Si TFTs.

  1. Yuan HC, Ma ZQ, Roberts MM, et al. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS 100 (1): Art. No. 013708 JUL 1 2006
  2. E. Menard, K. J. Lee, D.-Y. Khang, R. G. Nuzzo, and J. A. Rogers, Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 5398 (2004).

Image source (from Ref. 1. © 2006 AIP)