Research Highlights

Stretchable, rollable transistors for health-monitoring bracelets

Published online 29 October 2015

Scientists make strain-absorbing, flexible transistors on a metal-based platform.

Biplab Das

A research team from Saudi Arabia has created field-effect transistors on a new kind of rollable and stretchable (bistable) metal-alloy-based platform.

The platform can absorb strain energy when exposed to an impulsive force1. The scientists claim these flexible transistors can handle high drive currents and could potentially be used to make foldable display devices.  

The researchers, led by Muhammad Mustafa Hussain from King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), have produced the bistable platform by using an iron-carbon alloy. They then transferred separately made, silicon-based, metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors onto this platform.  

The scientists tested the transistors by subjecting them to an impulsive force. They exhibited high performance, retaining their conductive properties such as excellent charge carrier transport with no leakage current. 

What helped is the presence of nanopores throughout the surface of the platform that absorb strain energy, allowing the transistors to retain their flexibility and electrical properties, the researchers explain.  

“In the future, such transistor-fitted bistable platform would enable integration of solid-state lighting devices into cycling safety wristbands and monitoring devices into medical bracelets for orthopaedic healthcare,” says lead researcher Hussain.  


  1. Alfaraj, N. et al. Functional integrity of flexible n-channel metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors on a reversibly bistable platform. Appl. Phys. Lett. 107, 174101 (2015).