Scientists take inspiration from the spider web to create biomedical photodetectors

Purdue University innovators are inspired by nature when developing 3D photodetectors. They used some of the architectural features of the spider web to develop biomedical imaging technology. The web is characterized by excellent mechanical adaptation and resistance to damage from various loads. The research results are published in the journal Advanced Materials.

“We have used a unique fractal web design to develop deformable and reliable electronics. As a result, it can easily interact with any 3D curved surface, ”explains Chi Hwang Lee, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering at Purdue. “For example, we have demonstrated a hemispherical or domed photodetector array that can detect the direction and intensity of incident light simultaneously. It is similar to the vision system of arthropods such as insects and crustaceans.”

Purdue expert technology uses a repeating structured web architecture.

This is what provides unique opportunities for the distribution of external stress along the thread in accordance with the effective ratio of helical and radial dimensions. In addition, the technology guarantees greater elongation for better dissipation of tensile forces.

“The resulting three-dimensional optoelectronic architectures are particularly attractive for photodetection systems that require a large field of view and wide-angle antireflection image. It will be useful for many biomedical and military imaging purposes, ”explains Muhammad Ashraful Alam, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

“The assembly technique presented in this work enables the deployment of 2D deformable electronics in 3D architectures. It looks like we have new opportunities to advance in 3D electronic and optoelectronic devices”, Lee concludes.

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