ChEMS Seminar: Manufacturing, Materials and Device Innovations for Soft and Curvy Electronics

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Cunjiang Yu

Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Houston, TX

Abstract: Innovative manufacturing technologies and materials are critical in building next-generation electronics devices, especially when we are migrating from conventional electronics to emerging electronics with unique form factors, such as those flexible, stretchable, wearable and curvilinear electronics, which hold promise in a broad range of areas like healthcare, robotics, human-machine interfaces, etc.

In this talk, I will present some of our recent research progress on manufacturing, materials and device innovation for stretchy and curvy electronics. Existing strategies to enable mechanical stretchability in soft electronics heavily rely on special mechanical architectures, which impose a heavy burden on sophisticated fabrication and associated cost. I will show our recent results on developing a completely new set of stretchable electronics, namely “fully rubbery electronics.” Fully rubbery electronics are constructed completely based on elastomeric electronic materials and therefore intrinsically stretchable. The fully rubbery electronics in thin sheets mimic the format and functionalities of our elastic human skin. I will then show our recent progress on developing 3-D curvilinear electronics, a class of overlooked electronics with 3-D curvilinear form factors. A new manufacturing approach, namely conformal additive transfer printing, will be presented. Different types of 3-D curvilinear devices such as smart contact lenses with integrated sensors and electronics for multi-functionalities will be demonstrated.

Bio: Cunjiang Yu is the Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston, with joint appointments in electrical and computer engineering, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in electrical engineering in 2004 and 2007, respectively, from Southeast University, Nanjing, China. He then received his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Arizona State University in 2010. Following the completion of his doctorate, he was trained as a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining UH in October, 2013. His research focuses on fundamental and application aspects of soft, curvy electronics. His recent research outcomes have been reported or highlighted by many media outlets, such as Time, Discovery, BBC News, NBC News, Science News, USA Today, etc.

He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, MIT Technology Review 35 Top Innovators under the age of 35 - TR35 China, ACS Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award, American Vacuum Society Young Investigator Award, 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, UH University level Award of Excellence in Research & Scholarship, and the UH College of Engineering Junior Faculty Research Excellence Award.

Host: Alon Gorodetsky