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Progress in microelectronics has been associated with reducing the minimum feature size of integrated circuits. However, this trend seems to be ending. The minimum device feature size is now approaching dimensions comparable to molecular and atomic sizes, and the ability to scale down is rapidly reaching the point of diminishing returns. New frontiers of microelectronics lie in supplementing conventional silicon chips with new materials and approaches that allow for cheap microelectronic and nanoelectronic devices and circuits on unconventional flexible giant substrates. Giant electronics on flexible substrates will enable numerous applications from electrotextiles to flexible displays, from thin-film batteries to novel photovoltaic devices, and from 'sensitive skin' for robotics and medical applications to antiterrorist systems built into smart, safe and environmentally friendly buildings. This book deals with this new and potentially disruptive technology. Future concerns include the development of reliable low-temperature deposition technology for depositing semiconducting films on a variety of unconventional substrates and the development of flexible/stretchable metal and transparent metal films and the demonstration of semiconductor heterostructures on threads and cloth.
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