Panasonic Corp. has introduced a thermoset stretchable film for printed electronics based on a non-silicone polymer chemistry developed in-house.
The stretchable film is 100 microns thick and can be delivered on a high temperature polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) carrier for stability during processing a thin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) coversheet for protection.
Called Beyolex, the stretchable film is compatible with a wide variety of functional inks and pastes such as screen-printed stretchable silver composite pastes, sintered metal pastes and liquid metals like eutectic Indium Gallium alloys.
This means the film could be used for applications such as health/wellness, automotive, sensors, haptic feedback, internet of things, gaming, augmented reality, soft robotics and aerospace.
The rise in printed, stretchable electronics is due to new form factors being invented to meet end use requirements. Traditional printed electronic substrates like polyester and polyimide films are not pliable, stretchable or soft and most are incompatible with standard electronic materials and processes. Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) are commonly used as a substrate for printed electronics but have low temperature resistance and are prone to permanent deformation after being strained.
"We view electronic materials based on this polymer technology as enabling an entire new class of soft and pliable electronic devices," said Andy Behr, technology manager at Panasonic.