Researchers Create Circuit with Stretchable Optical Interconnections
For futuristic applications like wearable body sensors and robotic skin, researchers need to ferry information along flexible routes. Electronics that bend and stretch have become possible in recent years, but similar work in the field of optics – communicating with light instead of electrons – has lagged behind. Particularly difficult to engineer have been optics that stretch, lengthening when someone wearing body sensors bends to tie their shoe, or when a robotic arm twists through a full range of motion.
Now a team of Belgian researchers reports progress on this front with what may be the first optical circuit that uses interconnections that are not only bendable, but also stretchable. These new interconnections, made of a rubbery transparent material called PDMS (poly-dimethylsiloxane), guide light along their path even when stretched up to 30 percent and when bent around an object the diameter of a human finger.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/02/researchers-create-circuit-stretchable-optical-interconnections