Are Semiconductors Soon Going to be Flexible?

The next level of development in semiconductors might introduce the property of flexibility into chips, setting off a chain of innovations in electronics designs.

FREMONT, CA: Semiconductors are at the core of all the electronic devices that are widely in use today. Undergoing several changes, semiconductors, which used to be 3-dimensional, are now 2-dimensional and have shrunken in size as well. Such changes in physical properties have allowed electronic device manufacturers to experiment with product designs and introduce sleeker devices. The next big development expected in semiconductors is that of flexibility. By adding the feature of flexibility, semiconductor manufacturers can spark off innovations in electronics device design and also enable advancements in wearable devices.   

One can already experience futuristic applications that technologies have been able to provide. The explosion of smart devices has resulted in multiple conveniences that were unimaginable even a decade ago. When the flexibility of semiconductors becomes feasible, the next big revolution in the electronics market will happen. The shape and size of smart devices will evolve further. Wearables might entirely replace some devices. To the greatest extent, flexible semiconductors will allow the grafting of chips onto human skin. Such capabilities present an unimaginable number of applications.

Although today’s semiconductors are highly efficient and have great operational properties, they are opaque and rigid. This prevents semiconductors from being placed in paper or fabrics. Researchers working on semiconductor materials are constantly in the look-out for innovative hybrid materials that could help semiconductors attain flexibility. A research paper published by Tokyo University of Science in Science Daily mentions the successful synthesis of a novel organic material that could be used to make n-type semiconductors. These research results might subsequently lead to the synthesis of commercially viable semiconductors which possess flexibility.

In the near future, flexible semiconductors are expected to drive electronics designers and manufacturers towards creating portable devices with better specifications, both physical and operational.

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