Flexible Electronics

Electronic devices designed with advanced flexible substrates that allow for bending, stretching, rolling, folding, and conforming to different shapes without losing functionality.
Technology Life Cycle

Technology Life Cycle


Marked by a rapid increase in technology adoption and market expansion. Innovations are refined, production costs decrease, and the technology gains widespread acceptance and use.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Prototype Testing

Prototype is fully functional and ready for testing in industrially relevant environment.

Technology Diffusion

Technology Diffusion

Early Adopters

Embrace new technologies soon after Innovators. They often have significant influence within their social circles and help validate the practicality of innovations.

Flexible Electronics

Flexible Electronics are electronic devices built on flexible materials — such as polymers, plastic, metal foil, paper, smart textiles, flex glass, or thin films — as their base, allowing them to conform to different shapes and contours. Unlike traditional rigid electronics, Flexible Electronics can be stretched, bent, folded, or rolled without losing functionality.

Flexible Electronics involve the use of specialized materials and manufacturing processes. Conductive polymers or thin metal films, for instance, are utilized to create flexible circuits and interconnections, which allow them to maintain conductivity properties even under mechanical strain. Other electronic components, such as transistors, organic semiconductors, sensors, batteries, or displays, can be fabricated using flexible materials or a hybrid of flexible substrates. Flex circuits can be manufactured by laying conductive lines using one of several printing methods, including screen, inkjet, gravure, or 3D-printing techniques.

As Flexible Electronics enable the development of devices that can conform to various shapes and surfaces, new design possibilities appear, allowing seamless integration into unconventional forms. Such versatility is valuable in wearable electronics, allowing devices like smartwatches, fitness trackers, or electronic textiles to comfortably adapt to the body's movements. The flexibility of these electronics also makes them more resilient to mechanical stress and shock, reducing the risk of damage from impacts or vibrations. This enhanced durability is crucial for applications in harsh environments, such as aerospace or automotive industries, where traditional rigid electronics may not withstand extreme conditions. Furthermore, Flexible Electronics solve the problem of limited space. With their ability to be thin and conform to tight spaces, these devices can be integrated into compact and resource-constrained environments, such as medical implants, electronic skin, or Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

Future Perspectives

By overcoming the limitations of today's rigid electronics, Flexible Electronics pave the way for a future where electronic devices seamlessly integrate into our everyday lives, offering enhanced comfort, functionality, and durability. As this technology becomes mainstream, the IoT could become even more invisible, and the line between the digital and concrete worlds will be further blurred.

Flexible Electronics could be integrated into clothing, accessories, or infrastructure to capture and convert ambient energy, such as body heat, motion, or light, into electrical energy for powering wearable devices or IoT sensors. Also, Flexible Electronics integrated into packaging materials could enable interactive and intelligent packaging solutions. This could include features such as freshness monitoring, product tracking, personalized information, enhancing consumer experience, and supply chain management.

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Flexible Electronics: Status, Challenges and Opportunities
npj Flexible Electronics is an open access journal, which publishes high-quality papers related to flexible electronic systems, including plastic electronics and emerging materials, new device design and fabrication technologies, and applications.
Flexible circuits inspired by human skin offer options for health monitoring, prosthetics and pressure-sensing robots.
SEMI-FlexTech is devoted to the accelerating the development and adoption of flexible electronics which enable a new class of electronics - ones that conform to any shape, but are also bendable, twistable, and stretchable — enabling new products, capabilities and features. Flexible electronics have the potential to make our world safer, smarter, healthier and simpler.
•Intrinsically soft materials enable flexible electronics feature charming flexibility, lightweight, transparency, portability and others.•The rapid growing market in flexible electronics fuels the fundamental research in this area.•The latest advances in flexible electronics consist of intrinsically soft materials are demonstrated in terms of materials, fabrication and applications.
The flourishing development of multifunctional flexible electronics cannot leave the beneficial role of nature, which provides continuous inspiration in their material, structural, and functional designs. During the evolution of flexible electronics, some originated from nature, some were even beyond nature, and others were implantable or biodegradable eventually to nature. Therefore, the relationship between flexible electronics and nature is undoubtedly vital since harmony between nature and technology evolution would promote the sustainable development. Herein, materials selection and functionality design for flexible electronics that are mostly inspired from nature are first introduced with certain functionality even beyond nature. Then, frontier advances on flexible electronics including the main individual components (i.e., energy (the power source) and the sensor (the electric load)) are presented from nature, beyond nature, and to nature with the aim of enlightening the harmonious relationship between the modern electronics technology and nature. Finally, critical issues in next-generation flexible electronics are discussed to provide possible solutions and new insights in prospective exploration directions.
Flexible electronics are game-changers in the world of technology. Read our blog & discover what flexible electronics are, why they're used and who uses them.

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