Microcracked gold films on elastomeric substrates can function as stretchable and deformable interconnects and sensors. In response to stretch or deformation, the design would seek to minimize the change in resistance for stretchable or deformable interconnects; if used as resistive sensors, a large change in resistance would be desired. This research examines the change in resistance upon bending of a microcracked conductor and compares the results with stretching such a conductor. The resistance depends on the strain in the film, which, for bending, is a function of the bending radius and the location of the film within the structure with respect to the neutral plane. The resistance decreases when the gold conductor is under compression and increases when it is under tension. The decrease in resistance under compression is small compared to the increase in resistance under tension, marginally depending on the bending radius. In contrast, the resistance under tension significantly increases with decreasing bending radius. The mechanics model presented here offers a mechanistic understanding of these observations. These results provide guidance for the design of interconnects for flexible and stretchable electronics and for flexible sensors to monitor the magnitude and direction of bending or stretching.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)