Currently, most of the electronic appliances available in the market are too rigid to withstand or bend to the needs of modern consumers that keep changing with each passing hour. Addressing the issue, Belgian institute Imec has introduced an ultrathin, flexible chip with bendable and stretchable interconnects that will bring about a revolution in medical and lifestyle applications. The futuristic ultrathin chip is capable of stretching and bending like rubber or skin, so it could adapt to curving and bending surfaces.
The chip took shape by thinning the microcontroller, available in the market, down to 30µm and inserting it in a 40 to 50µm thick polyimide package at the University of Ghent. Then the stretchable electrical wiring, fabricated with patterning polyimide, was integrated to the radical circuitry to ensure completely flexibility and give a new twist to the electronic appliances. Thereafter, the package was embedded in an elastomeric substrate, i.e. the polydimethylsiloxane, to act like two dimensional springs and without hampering the conductivity.
Currently on display at the 2012 ESTC conference (Electronics System Integration Technology Conference in Amsterdam, the Ultra-Thin Chip Packages (UTCP) with its futuristic design promises enhanced medical applications and even intelligent clothing, to track the movement of the user, in the days to come.