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Feather-light unbreakable plastic electronics

Flexible electronics is emerging as a mainstream technology for smart, mobile, wearable devices and also for biomedical applications. Kaltenbrunner et al. break new ground by fabricating light-as-a-feather virtually imperceptible and unbreakable electronic foils that can conform to any desired shape. The foils consist of organic transistors with an ultra-dense oxide gate dielectric, itself only a few nanometres thick, deposited on ultra-lightweight plastic films, for an overall thickness of just two micrometres. They can withstand repeated severe bending and stretching, can crumple like paper, and work at elevated temperatures and in wet environments. The authors demonstrate that the flexible electronic foil can act as a tactile sensor on a model of the upper human jaw, illustrating the potential for this technology in health care and monitoring.

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