Priv. Doz. Dr. Megan Cordill, Erich-Schmid Institute für Materialwissenschaft

Prof. Damien Faurie, Laboratoire des Sciences des Procédés et des Matériaux – LSPM - CNRS


Project Leader: Megan Cordill


ESI Team Members: Patrice Kreiml, Julia Gröger, Claus Trost

Team Members: Damien Faurie, Pierre-Olivier Renault, Shuhel Altaf-Husain

ESI TOPIC: Complex Materials

ESI TOPIC: Deformation, Fracture, and Fatigue


Foldable and rollable electronic displays as well as wearable sensors are almost a reality for consumers. The main technological obstacle is manufacturing these innovative devices to be unbreakable. Devices, such as the Samsung foldable phone, need to be mechanically and electrically durable for 100,000 folding or stretching cycles. Up until now, the micro- and nanosized flexible electronics cannot withstand the mechanical loading (folding or stretching) because cracks form which stop the electric current flow, causing the device to no longer function. A possible solution is to properly tailor the thin materials used in flexible devices in order to generate electrically conductive materials that do not break. The research team made of Austrian and French partners will create unique thin film materials (less than 1 µm thick) by patterning two or more metals to form 1D, 2D and 3D nanomaterials, or nanocomposites. Through the combination of high strength and conductive metals with micro- and nanoscale patterning made with a special 3D printer, unbreakable nanomaterials ideal for foldable and stretchable electronics will be discovered. Not only will the team create these new materials, they will also test the various nanostructured systems by stretching (along one and two axes) and folding. The testing methods that will be used are only available within both partner’s laboratories and the experimental techniques can directly connect the mechanical behavior with the electrical behavior by 3D imaging the surfaces, measuring the electrical resistance, or even measuring the stresses that evolve during stretching or folding. The results from this project will remove the technological obstacle and finally make foldable, rollable, stretchable, and wearable electronic devices available to customers.

Primary Researchers Involved

The research team of Dr. Megan Cordill (Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science) and Dr. Damien Faurie (Laboratoire des Sciences des Procédés et des Matériaux) is strategically positioned to complete the study proposed. Cordill will bring the thin film deposition and uniaxial and folding electro-mechanical testing experience to the project, while Faurie provides the vital in-situ synchrotron, biaxial testing, and phase field modeling expertise.

Figure 1: Project Structure of NanoFilm. Each institute will bring expertise to carry out all of the studies in close collaboration. The postdoc of ESI and the French PhD (Pprime/LSPM) will actively collaborate with exchanges of several months. The postdoc of the LSPM in charge of modeling will also participate in exchanges to ESI to better transfer experimental and modeling results.