Ultra-thin, ultra-lightweight, and multifunctional skin for highly deformable structures

Yao Yao, Jacob Taylor, Luke Cirullo, Rainmar Leguarda, Brett Sheeran, Xin Ning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


One of the challenges that space exploration encounters is creating deployable structures that are lightweight and that can survive, monitor, and mitigate the harsh and extreme environments in space. It is also evident that future space structures will require flexible and multifunctional electronics embedded onto its skin to carry out the desired multiple functions of the structures in low launch weight and volume. This paper presents an architecture and fabrication method for a multifunctional skin with integrated electronic components that can be embedded onto highly deformable structures. This multifunctional structural skin is ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight. The skin includes multiple passive and active components, including strain sensors, temperature sensors, and micro-heater. The fabrication method combines advanced micro/nano-fabrication technologies, which are well established in semiconductor industry, with novel transfer printing techniques. The fabrication method developed in this paper exploits the high-performance electronic materials and enables the flexibility of devices. Experiments have shown that the structural skin can be embedded on highly deformable structures. Initial efforts on creating lightweight origami multifunctional structures have been demonstrated as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105784
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2019Jan 11 2019

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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