ChBE Seminar Series–Dr. Michael Dickey

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In addition to its annual lectures, ChBE hosts a weekly seminar throughout the year with invited lecturers who are prominent in their fields. Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are held on Wednesdays in the Molecular Science and Engineering Building ("M" Building) in G011 (Cherry Logan Emerson Lecture Theater) at 4:00 p.m. Refreshments are served at 3:30 p.m. in the Emerson-Lewis Reception Salon.

March 28
Dr. Michael Dickey
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
North Carolina State University 
New Approaches for Soft, Stretchable, and Biomimetic Electronics


This talk will describe efforts in our research group to create and study electronic devices with new properties and architectures by harnessing interfacial phenomena, microfabrication, and the unique properties of a moldable liquid metal. Conventional electronics are typically fabricated from rigid materials (e.g., silicon for transistors, copper for antennas). New materials are being explored as candidates for flexible / stretchable / soft electronics because of the novel applications that emerge from their mechanical properties. Examples include flexible displays, implantable devices, electronic textiles, and soft robots. This talk with discuss the underlying fundamental science motivating active areas of research in our group:

  • Ultra-stretchable wires, sensors, antennas, and microelectrodes created by injecting a gallium-based metal alloy into elastomeric microchannels. The metal is a liquid at room-temperature with low-viscosity (water-like) and can be micromolded due to a thin, oxide skin that forms rapidly on its surface. The properties of the metal will be discussed as well as methods to shape the metal to form ultra-stretchable electronic components.
  • Soft, biomimetic memory (“memristor-like”) devices composed of hydrogels and moldable metal. These memory devices are composed entirely of soft materials and operate based on the ability to control the thickness of an interfacial oxide between the metal and gel. This system is brain-like in the sense that it is soft, 3-D, operates in an aqueous environment using ionic conductance, and has characteristics that mimic synapse formation.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Josie Giles
  • Created:01/09/2012
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016