Researchers developed a fully rubbery stretchable diode that maintains performance. (Credit: Jeff Xu/Penn State)

A fully rubbery stretchable diode maintains performance. Flexible devices can behave more like biological tissue, allowing for better bio-integrated devices. An example may be a soft patch device that could be implanted on the heart.

To achieve such electrical performance while the diode is mechanically stretched, the researchers rationally considered the device architecture, vertical structures, and layout. In addition to benefits for more flexible medical devices, the development also has implications for power management systems in these medical devices toward self-sustainable systems.

Next steps include further optimizing the diode and integrating it into more complex systems. The team is looking to improve the diode architectures and performances and to achieve unperturbed operations even under very large extents of mechanical stretch or deformation. They want to use these diodes to address critical device needs in applications such as robotics and biomedical devices.

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