Soft biomaterials such as human skin have very different mechanical properties from conventional electronics, requiring unusual materials and geometries to match the behavior of the skin. One of the biggest challenges in stretchable electronics is the transfer of power and data signals, with physical wiring easily pulled out or damaged. In my talk, I will be discussing all aspects of creating inductors and power circuits for wireless power transfer to stretchable systems. I will focus on the use of room temperature liquid metals and stretchable magnetic materials to maximize power transfer efficiency and distance while retaining the ability to stretch by tens or hundreds of percent. Using these approaches, we demonstrate new records in performance, from stretchable inductors with quality factors as high as 174 to power systems with transfer efficiency as high as 92% to a stretchable system. I conclude with our recent demonstration of the use of strongly coupled magnetic resonance (SCMR) to transmit power efficiently to a stretchable inductor at distances of more than a coil diameter.
Nathan Lazarus has worked extensively in areas ranging from mixed signal electronics to MEMS fabrication, with his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon culminating in 2012 with the demonstration of the highest recorded fractional sensitivity to date for a capacitive chemical sensor topology integrated with CMOS electronics. Since joining US Army Research Laboratory in May 2012, Dr. Lazarus’s research has focused on stretchable power systems, 3D printing and self-folding origami. He has authored/co-authored 39 refereed journal articles and a book chapter, and has 15 patents awarded or pending. Dr. Lazarus has also served as a part-time faculty member at George Washington University lecturing on microelectromechanical system design. He has received numerous awards including ARL’s Honorary Award for Engineering and the Rookie of the Year Excellence in Federal Career Award (Gold) from the Baltimore Federal Executive Board. In 2019, Dr. Lazarus was selected for the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor given by the US government for researchers beginning their independent research careers.