Emerging next-generation soft electronics will require versatile properties functioning under mechanical compliance, which will involve the use of different types of materials. As a result, control over material interfaces (particularly soft/hard interfaces) has become crucial and is now attracting intensive worldwide research efforts. A series of material and structural interface designs has been devised to improve interfacial adhesion, preventing failure of electromechanical properties under mechanical deformation. Herein, different soft/hard interface design strategies at multiple length scales in the context of flexible hybrid electronics are reviewed. The crucial role of soft ligands and/or polymers in controlling the morphologies of active nanomaterials and stabilizing them is discussed, with a focus on understanding the soft/hard interface at the atomic/molecular scale. Larger nanoscopic and microscopic levels are also discussed, to scrutinize viable intrinsic and extrinsic interfacial designs with the purpose of promoting adhesion, stretchability, and durability. Furthermore, the macroscopic device/human interface as it relates to real-world applications is analyzed. Finally, a perspective on the current challenges and future opportunities in the development of truly seamlessly integrated soft wearable electronic systems is presented.
- hybrid electronics
- soft/hard interface