After working in the area of flexible and stretchable electronics over the last 6 years, it’s abundantly clear to me that flexible electronics is complementary to silicon-based electronics. Both of these technologies have their pros and cons. Flexible hybrid electronics, on the other hand, strikes a balance between these two fields.

In our recent paper in Advanced Materials entitled, “A New Frontier of Printed Electronics: Flexible Hybrid Electronics,” we reviewed recent progress, fabrication, application, challenges, and outlook of Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) with a focus on the fundamental building blocks of FHE systems – printed sensors and circuits, thinned silicon ICs, printed antennas, printed energy harvesting and storage modules, and printed displays. We also reviewed applications of FHE in wearable health, structural health, industrial, environmental, and agricultural sensing. If you’re working with printed, flexible, and stretchable electronics this review paper will definitely be helpful.

Paper title: A New Frontier of Printed Electronics: Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Abstract: The performance and integration density of silicon integrated circuits (ICs) have progressed at an unprecedented pace in the past 60 years. While silicon ICs thrive at low-power high-performance computing, creating flexible and large-area electronics using silicon remains a challenge. On the other hand, flexible and printed electronics use intrinsically flexible materials and printing techniques to manufacture compliant and large-area electronics. Nonetheless, flexible electronics are not as efficient as silicon ICs for computation and signal communication. Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) leverages the strengths of these two dissimilar technologies. It uses flexible and printed electronics where flexibility and scalability are required, i.e., for sensing and actuating, and silicon ICs for computation and communication purposes. Combining flexible electronics and silicon ICs yields a very powerful and versatile technology with a vast range of applications. Here, the fundamental building blocks of an FHE system, printed sensors and circuits, thinned silicon ICs, printed antennas, printed energy harvesting and storage modules, and printed displays, are discussed. Emerging application areas of FHE in wearable health, structural health, industrial, environmental, and agricultural sensing are reviewed. Overall, the recent progress, fabrication, application, and challenges, and an outlook, related to FHE are presented.

Publication:

  1. A New Frontier of Printed Electronics: Flexible Hybrid Electronics Yasser Khan, Arno Thielens, Sifat Muin, Jonathan Ting, Carol Baumbauer, and Ana C. Arias Advanced Materials, 2019 n/a, n/a. [Abstract] [Bibtex] [PDF]