Stretchable Silicon, the Next Wave in Electronics

Silicon circuit under the microscope.
Silicon circuit under the microscope.

Detail of silicon sample.
Detail of silicon sample.

"Stretchable Silicon, the Next Wave in Electronics," is a traveling exhibition created by Nano-CEMMS educators in collaboration with Professor John Rogers, team leader for the development of stretchable silicon.  The display made its debut in September, 2006, at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San José, CA and at Science Visions, Inc. in Brookings, SD.

The display examines the mechanics of stretchable silicon computer chips that can bend and stretch, eliminating all the limitations of the rigid silicon wafers that form the basis of today's electronics and opening the possibilities for exciting new products.

The display has several components:

  • A hands-on mockup model of the stretchable silicon that museum visitors can bend and stretch
  • An actual silicon circuit under a microscope with buttons that allow visitors to stretch and relax the circuit
  • A monitor that shows the wave amplitude changing depending on the stretch of the sample
  • A repeating video that introduces the practical uses of stretchable silicon
  • Wooden concept manipulatives that demonstrate rigidity and flexibility
  • A facilitator guide and operating manual

The display is now traveling to other museums throughout the United States.