The LIT Soft Materials Lab is a research center at the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) that focuses on soft, intelligent materials, electronics and robotics.
Tomorrow's electronics will provide a seamless interface between the digital world of information technologies and living organisms, such as humans. This symbiosis opens up completely new possibilities in many areas ranging from medicine to human-friendly machines.
Completely new concepts are in demand to bridge the gap between the softer nature of biological life and the opposing, more rigid world of electronics that we are familiar with. We achieve this by integration of innovative materials like biocompatible and highly elastic hydrogels, as well as micro- and nanostructuring of (semi)conductive thin films. Sophisticated design allows unusual functions and flexibility through controlled wrinkle structures, Kirigami-based shapes or geometrically stretchable layouts. Inspiration is often provided by nature, where evolution has created astonishing models over time.
Soft materials - from polymers and elastomers to hydrogels and hybrids - offer unique properties such as great flexibility and stretchability for a wide range of applications. We develop new forms of energy generation from regenerative sources, adaptive sensors and optics, and fully degradable bioelectronics to enable a sustainable use of technology.
Research at the Soft Materials Lab thrives on the interdisciplinary development of the underlying physical principles, mechanics and chemistry. Under the direction of Prof. Martin Kaltenbrunner, our aim is to develop a new generation of biomimetic technologies that will set innovative standards in medical technology, industry and consumer electronics, from smart everyday objects to biomedical systems.
With many years of expertise in ultra-thin and deformable electronics and soft robotics, the Soft Materials Lab underscores the pioneering role of Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in this field of research.