Skip to main content
Colloquium | Nanoscience and Technology

Skin-inspired Materials for Soft Integrated Circuits, Reconfigurable Soft Robotics, and Next Generation Batteries

Abstract: Skin is the body’s largest organ. It is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable, self-healable and biodegradable material simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information of pressure, pain, and temperature. The development of electronic materials, inspired by the complexity of this organ is a tremendous, unrealized materials challenge. Over the past decade, we have developed materials design concepts to add skin-like functions to organic electronic materials and carbon nanomaterials with enhanced electronic properties. The fundamental understanding of molecular design and electronic structure tuning allowed us to develop high-density large scale soft stretchable integrated circuits. In addition, we extended the molecular design thinking to develop skin-inspired polymers for reconfigurable soft robotics and more stable operation of lithium metal-based batteries.

Bio: Bao is K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Wearable Electronics Initiate (eWEAR) at Stanford University. She was Department Chair of Chemical Engineering from 2018-2022. Prior to joining Stanford in 2004, she was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies from 1995-2004. She received her Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Chicago.