PerspectiveFlexible Electronics

Staying conductive in the stretch

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Science  06 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6320, pp. 24-25
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4113

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Summary

Science fiction has often provided a realistic vision of the future. Universal translators, 3D printers, tablet computers, instant messaging, conference calls, and wall-mounted widescreen televisions are just a few examples of what was featured in novels and movies well before entering everyday life. One of the most appealing classes of futuristically hypothesized gadgets is, however, still not available: wearable electronics. The main obstacle toward fabrication of stretchable devices, which deform according to the movement of human body, is the competition between mechanical and electronic properties. On page 59 of this issue, Xu et al. (1) introduce a revolutionary method, based on nanoconfinement of conductive polymers, that enables the fabrication of flexible electronics with high charge carrier conductivity, even when stretched to twice their original length.