• Failure modes;
  • Flexible electronics;
  • Single-crystalline silicon;
  • Transfer printing


This paper describes materials and mechanics aspects of bending in systems consisting of ribbons and bars of single crystalline silicon supported by sheets of plastic. The combined experimental and theoretical results provide an understanding for the essential behaviors and for mechanisms associated with layouts that achieve maximum bendability. Examples of highly bendable silicon devices on plastic illustrate some of these concepts. Although the studies presented here focus on ribbons and bars of silicon, the same basic considerations apply to other implementations of inorganic materials on plastic substrates, ranging from amorphous or polycrystalline thin films, to collections of nanowires and nanoparticles. The contents are, as a result, relevant to the growing community of researchers interested in the use of inorganic materials in flexible electronics.