IBM says it has developed a low-cost technique for manufacturing silicon-based electronics on a flexible plastic substrate. Comparing the approach to other one- and two-dimensional materials that have been tried for flexible electronics, "these [other] materials still have problems such as low resistance contacts, reliable gate dielectrics," says IBM researcher Davood Shahrjerdi.
IBM's approach involves controlled spalling, or flaking, which is the "kerfless" removal of silicon, germanium, and 111-V layers. The researchers say the technique yielded functional SRAM cells down to VDD=0.6V, and its ring oscillators had a stage delay of 16 ps at 0.9V, which they said was the best reported for a flexible circuit. The researchers say they were able to improve the mechanical flexibility by removing excess silicon below the buried oxide using an etch process.
IBM says the technique indicates that manufacturing flexible and affordable electronics is possible using conventional processes at room temperature.
From EE Times
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