56 innovations

Self healing integrated circuits

Scaling of integrated circuits, to satisfy Moore’s Law has resulted in devices with large numbers of thin conductive films. Because of the added complexity, loss of conductivity in electronic circuits through fracture, delamination and cracking occurs more frequently then ever. This drives productions cost and hinders development of more complex circuitry.

A team from to the university of Illinois has developed a technology that is capable of almost completely restoring a damaged integrated circuit in a fraction of a second. The self-healing circuitry works as followed: a crack breaks a conductive pathway, interrupting electron transport and thus halting operation of the circuit. At the same time the crack ruptures micro-capsules containing gallium–indium liquid metal. The released liquid metal flows into the cracks and restores the conductive pathway.

This self-healing technology has the potential to create even faster and cheaper computer chips. 

Source: autonomic.beckman.illinois.eduAdded: 31 July 2012

Tags: electronics