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Hard Silicon Wafers Yield Flexible Electronics 15

MTorrice writes "By shaving off an ultrathin layer from the top of a silicon wafer, researchers have transformed rigid electronic devices into flexible ones. The shaving process could be used to fabricate parts for wearable electronics or displays that can roll up. Compared to similar techniques to make bendable silicon electronics, the new method is more cost-effective and produces more flexible devices, its developers say."
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Hard Silicon Wafers Yield Flexible Electronics

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  • An ultrathin layer from atop a wafer
    Brings flexible circuits to the fabricator
    Burma Shave

    • Do they use a 5 blade razor or a twin blade. Maybe one for sensitive silicon? How do they prevent them from getting clogged?

  • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Wednesday February 19, 2014 @10:37AM (#46285677) Homepage

    They've been doing this on solar cells for a while. [] [] []

    • This has been done on damn near everything for a while. Our packaging facility shaves off about 95% or more of the wafer, leaving a thin, almost transparent layer of the actual electronics. Then we stack 'em up and package them. It's how all those fancy flash memory cards are made.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How do I get back to classic? beta sucks

  • I have to wonder what the killer app is for flexible chips? Wearable electronics is always mentioned in this sort of press release, but we have Google Glass already which doesn't require flexible chips. Flexible circuit boards are already in wide use, sometimes with rigid areas to reinforce specific areas that don't need to flex. What applications truly require a flexible integrated circuit?

    Flexible displays make sense for flexible integrated circuits but I'm still a bit skeptical about that because it s

    • by hamjudo ( 64140 )

      Rigid silicon requires rigid interconnects. Flexible ICs allow flexible packaging, or different packaging. Instead of building from the printed circuit board up, build from the heatsink up. Use a precision pick and place system to glue the thin, wimpy, inexpensive silicon to the strong massive heatsink. Then mask on the solder balls. Then apply a thin, wimpy, inexpensive circuit "board". Attach all the old style surface mount components to the other side of the circuit "board". "Board" is in quotes because

Forty two.