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Technical Brief

Mechanics Design for Stretchable, High Areal Coverage GaAs Solar Module on an Ultrathin Substrate

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaoting Shi

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Materials Laser Processing and Modification,
School of Materials Science and Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil
and Environmental Engineering,
Center for Engineering and Health,
and Skin Disease Research Center,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208

Renxiao Xu

Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Center for Engineering and Health, and Skin Disease Research Center,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208

Yuhang Li

School of Aeronautical Science & Engineering,
Institute of Solid Mechanics,
Beihang University,
Beijing 100191, China

Yihui Zhang

Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil
and Environmental Engineering,
Center for Engineering and Health, and Skin Disease Research Center,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
Center for Mechanics and Materials,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

Zhigang Ren

School of Civil Engineering and Architecture,
Wuhan University of Technology,
Wuhan 430070, China

Jianfeng Gu

Shanghai Key Laboratory of Materials Laser Processing and Modification,
School of Materials Science and Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China

John A. Rogers

Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
University of Illinois,
Urbana, IL 61801

Yonggang Huang

Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil
and Environmental Engineering,
Center for Engineering and Health, and Skin Disease Research Center,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: y-huang@northwestern.edu

1These authors contribute equally to this work.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received October 5, 2014; final manuscript received October 30, 2014; accepted manuscript posted November 4, 2014; published online November 11, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Arun Shukla.

J. Appl. Mech 81(12), 124502 (Dec 01, 2014) (3 pages) Paper No: JAM-14-1469; doi: 10.1115/1.4028977 History: Received October 05, 2014; Revised October 30, 2014; Online November 11, 2014; Accepted December 04, 2014

The trench design of substrate together with curvy interconnect formed from buckling provides a solution to stretchable electronics with high areal coverage on an ultrathin substrate, which are critically important for stretchable photovoltaics. In this paper, an improved trench design is proposed and verified by finite element analysis (FEA), through use of a heterogeneous design, to facilitate strain isolation and avoid possible fracture/delamination issue. A serpentine design of interconnect is also devised to offer ∼440% interconnect level stretchability, which is >3.5 times that of previous trench design, and could transform into 20% system-level stretchability, even for areal coverage as high as ∼90%.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic illustration of the solar module, featuring (a), (c) substrate with base and mesa, (b) mounted solar cells, and (d) serpentine-shape interconnects

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The maximum principal strain on the top surface of mesa versus the mesa thickness for mesa with different Young's moduli on the base (Young's modulus 0.06 MPa and thickness 0.5 mm). The inset shows the distribution of maximum principal strain in the ultrathin substrate subject to 20% system stretching (mesa: Young's modulus 100 MPa, thickness 0.2 mm and base: Young's modulus 0.06 MPa, thickness 0.5 mm).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The elastic stretchability of interconnect versus the number m of periodic units. The inset shows the deformed serpentine interconnect (for 11-Unit) stretched to elastic limit (456%), in top and side views.

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