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A Tunable Hemispherical Platform for Non-Stretching Curved Flexible Electronics and Optoelectronics


One major challenge in incorporating flexible electronics or optoelectronics on curved surfaces is the requirement of significant stretchability.  We report a tunable platform for incorporating flexible and yet non-stretching device layers on a hemisphere.  In this configuration, an array of planar petals contractively maps onto the surface of an inflatable hemisphere through elastocapillary interactions mediated by an interface liquid.  A mechanical model is developed to elucidate the dependence of the conformality of the petal structures on their elastic modulus and thickness and the liquid surface tension.  The modeling results are validated against experimental results obtained using petal structures of different thicknesses, restoring elastic spring elements of different spring constants, and liquids with different surface tension coefficients.  Our platform will enable facile integration of non-stretching electronic and optoelectronic components prepared using established planar fabrication techniques on tunable hemispherical surfaces.

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