Stretchable electronics has enabled many unforeseen applications in a variety of fields. Mechanical design concepts to achieve the stretchability without affecting the device functionality, however, are limited to few known practices, such as mechanical buckling, serpentine shape, or simple elastomeric composites. In this paper, we propose another mechanics design principle for high stretchability (>100%) based on the composite of vertical array of Si micropillars embedded into elastomer poly(dimethylsiloxane). The orthogonalization of active functional elements to applied strain direction enables highly stretchable electronic devices, where the applied strain is mostly absorbed into elastomer on interpillar space. On the other hand, the vertical pillars do not experience any noticeable strain at all. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, we fabricate stretchable Si-organic hybrid solar cells using such a design and the cell shows reasonable level of cell efficiency compared with planar counterparts. The cell can be stretched reversibly without any noticeable performance degradation. Furthermore, the cell can be operated in a bifacial mode by employing stretchable, transparent Ag nanowire-based electrodes. The mechanical design for stretchability demonstrated here would provide new opportunities for stretchable electronics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)