Today, humanity faces many challenges in the global distribution of energy, food, water, and healthcare. While there are many aspects to these complex problems, one critical issue in any solution is advanced materials and structures, such as materials for energy-storage systems and bio-integrated electronic devices for human health. Manufacturing of these materials and devices is significant for such applications. In the development of advanced materials for next-generation energy storage devices, the main bottleneck is the mechanical degradation of high-performance battery materials after repeated electrochemical cycling. In this talk, I will first present the mechanics of deformation and failure in high-performance, next-generation rechargeable battery materials. Michaelson interferometer and nanoindentation are employed for stress measurements and fracture toughness characterization of lithiated electrode composites. In addition to energy storage, advanced materials and structures also play an important role in bio-integrated electronics. Biology is soft, flexible, and 3D; microelectronics is hard, rigid, and planar. This profound mismatch of properties limits the capabilities of electronic devices to integrate fully with the body to diagnose or treat diseases. In the second part of the talk, I will present mechanics-guided manufacturing of three-dimensional (3D) soft, stretchable architectures and electronics in advanced materials including soft polymers, metals, and semiconductors for biomedical applications. The mechanically-guided manufacturing technique and applications of 3D bio-integrated electronics will be discussed. Developing advanced battery materials and 3D soft, bio-integrated devices represents a significant step towards solving grand challenges in energy and human health. In addition, integrating long-lasting advanced batteries with bio-integrated electronics provides a new avenue for wearable and implantable bioelectronics for biological studies and medical diagnosis.
Xueju “Sophie” Wang is a postdoctoral researcher working with Prof. John A. Rogers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Shuman Xia. Currently, she is working on the materials and manufacturing of three-dimensional architectures and bio-integrated electronics for biomedical applications. Her Ph.D. research had focused on mechanics and materials for energy storage. She is a recipient of Gary L. Cloud Scholarship Award from the Society of Experimental Mechanics.