If you’re reading this on your computer or phone, that’s partly thanks to the diodes. Diodes—usually rigid electrical components that easily conduct current in one direction—are used for many important electronic functions, from converting AC to DC and converting mechanical to electrical energy. power to serve as a switch component enabling digital display etc. Electronic devices, such as robots or medical devices, are becoming more versatile as technology advances, so, Penn State researchers have developed a fully rubber stretchable diode to maintain performance.
The team published their results in scientific advance.
“This diode is entirely made of stretchy rubber — that rubber material strategy is key,” says corresponding author Cunjiang Yu, Dorothy Quiggle Associate Professor of Career Development, Engineering Science Engineering and Mechanics, and associate professor of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering. His team has previously developed other rubbery electronic materials, such as transistors. “By creating a rubber diode, we have enriched our rubber electronic library so we can get closer to creating integrated devices electrical circuit and all-rubber systems.”
Than flexible device According to Yu, could behave more like biological tissue, allowing for better bio-integrated devices. An example might be a soft patch device that could be implanted in the heart.
“The beating heart generates electrical signals,” he said. “With a rubber diode, a device can convert AC to DC inside the body, which is currently not possible.”
To achieve such electrical performance while mechanically stretching, the researchers logically considered the device architecture, vertical structure, and layout, said Yu. In addition to the benefits for more flexible medical devices, the development also has implications for energy management systems in these countries. medical devices towards self-sustainable systems.
“The energy obtained from the harvester always needs to be rectified before the energy can be stored for use—and this is important in many emerging fields,” says Yu.
Yu gave the everyday example of luminous sneakers, which contain a piezoelectric energy collector to convert mechanical energy—one step—to the electrical energy to light the LED. A rectifier circuit converts the received AC power into useful DC power.
“Researchers and industry are using conventional diodes, but they want something that can stretch out, like what we report in the paper,” he said. “Such rubber diodes open up many possibilities.”
Yu says that the next steps include further optimizing the diode and integrating it into more complex systems.
“We are looking for ways to improve the structure and performance of the diodes and to achieve undisturbed operation even under very great mechanical strain or strain,” he said. “We want to use these diodes to address critical equipment needs in various emerging applications such as robotics and biomedical devices.”
Seonmin Jang et al., All-rubber Schottky Diodes and Integrated Devices, scientific advance (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.ade4284
Pennsylvania State University
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