Stretchable thin film mechanical-strain-gated switches and logic gate functions based on a soft tunneling barrier

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributed



Mechanical-strain-gated switches are cornerstone components of material-embedded circuits that perform logic operations without using conventional electronics. This technology requires a single material system to exhibit three distinct functionalities: strain-invariant conductivity and an increase or decrease of conductivity upon mechanical deformation. Herein, mechanical-strain-gated electric switches based on a thin-film architecture that features an insulator-to-conductor transition when mechanically stretched are demonstrated. The conductivity changes by nine orders of magnitude over a wide range of tunable working strains (as high as 130%). The approach relies on a nanometer-scale sandwiched bilayer Au thin film with an ultrathin poly(dimethylsiloxane) elastomeric barrier layer; applied strain alters the electron tunneling currents through the barrier. Mechanical-force-controlled electric logic circuits are achieved by realizing strain-controlled basic (AND and OR) and universal (NAND and NOR) logic gates in a single system. The proposed material system can be used to fabricate material-embedded logics of arbitrary complexity for a wide range of applications including soft robotics, wearable/implantable electronics, human–machine interfaces, and Internet of Things.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2104769
Number of pages10
JournalAdvanced materials
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85114310389
Mendeley c0a9f274-b369-3734-b12d-16be69fee401
unpaywall 10.1002/adma.202104769
WOS 000693699300001



  • logic gates, strain-gated electric switches, stretchable circuits, thin films, tunneling, PRESSURE, CONDUCTORS, SENSOR, ELECTRONIC SKIN, SILVER NANOPARTICLES