IEEE Spectrum

Scientists Wind Wires and Drip Semiconductors to Make Transistors on a Thread

Flexible electronics that could be worn on, stuck to, or even implanted in your body need to be able to twist, bend, or fold. And when it comes to that range of motion, nothing beats a single thread.

“Threads are the ultimate in flexibility,” says Sameer Sonkusale, an electrical engineer at Tufts University.

In 2016, Sonkusale and his team used cotton threads to create microfluidic sensors that can measure things like temperature and pH. Last month, in a proof-of-concept experiment, Sonkusale’s group reported making thread-based transistors, and demonstrated their utility as logic gates and multiplexers.

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