Dissolution of Monocrystalline Silicon Nanomembranes and Their Use as Encapsulation Layers and Electrical Interfaces in Water-Soluble Electronics

Yoon Kyeung Lee, Ki Jun Yu, Enming Song, Amir Barati Farimani, Flavia Vitale, Zhaoqian Xie, Younghee Yoon, Yerim Kim, Andrew Richardson, Haiwen Luan, Yixin Wu, Xu Xie, Timothy H. Lucas, Kaitlyn Crawford, Yongfeng Mei, Xue Feng, Yonggang Huang, Brian Litt, Narayana R. Aluru, Lan YinJohn A. Rogers

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65 Citations (Scopus)


The chemistry that governs the dissolution of device-grade, monocrystalline silicon nanomembranes into benign end products by hydrolysis serves as the foundation for fully eco/biodegradable classes of high-performance electronics. This paper examines these processes in aqueous solutions with chemical compositions relevant to groundwater and biofluids. The results show that the presence of Si(OH)4 and proteins in these solutions can slow the rates of dissolution and that ion-specific effects associated with Ca2+ can significantly increase these rates. This information allows for effective use of silicon nanomembranes not only as active layers in eco/biodegradable electronics but also as water barriers capable of providing perfect encapsulation until their disappearance by dissolution. The time scales for this encapsulation can be controlled by introduction of dopants into the Si and by addition of oxide layers on the exposed surfaces.The former possibility also allows the doped silicon to serve as an electrical interface for measuring biopotentials, as demonstrated in fully bioresorbable platforms for in vivo neural recordings. This collection of findings is important for further engineering development of water-soluble classes of silicon electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12562-12572
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 26

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.K.L. would like to thank the support from Kwanjeong Educational Foundation. K.J.Yu acknowledges the support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF2017M1A2A2048904). Z.X. and X.F. acknowledge the support from the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2015CB351900) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11402134 and 11320101001). Y.H. acknowledges the support from NSF (Grant Nos. 1400169, 1534120, and 1635443) and NIH (Grant No. R01EB019337). B.L. acknowledges NIH U01-NS094340, Mirowski Family Foundation, and Neil and Barbara Smit, and F.V. acknowledges Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy Taking Flight Award. L. Y. acknowledges the support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Grant No. 51601103) and 1000 Youth Talents Program in China.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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