Big Development in Printed Electronics Market: Research Develop a Technique That Can Print Biodegradable Electronics upon Complex Structures
Posted On September 17, 2021
Printable electronics could cause an explosion in the sale of smart, connected devices. The wide variety would include household appliances with the ability to communicate with each other to medical diagnostic sensors that could be placed on the body while removing the need for an invasive procedure. However, the numerous printing surfaces are a big hurdle. The method used for printing upon flat objects is not exactly the best for human skin or even applicable for computer shapes and textures.
Recently a research team was able to develop a feasible, low-heat transfer technique that can be used for printing biodegradable electronics upon several complex types of geometries and even possibly human skin. The developed approach is a massive advancement for Printed Electronics Market as the ability to print on complicated objects can help further the IoT (Internet of Things) wherein circuits will connect to various objects around us, ranging from smart home sensors to devices placed on the body.
At the start of the printing process, the team covered a thin film with an ink comprising of zinc nanoparticles. The film was attached to an overlay on the target surface resembling a stencil. After that, high-energy Xenon light was pulsed through the movie by the researchers. Within milliseconds, energy from the light started exciting the particles so much so that they were transferred to the new surface through the stencil. The new surface, with the help of this method, can be complex in shape, as was seen by the team’s experiments where they used a glass beaker and seashell for printing. The zinc transferred made for a conductive electronic circuit that could be adapted for use either as an antenna or sensor.
The present method is faster and cost-efficient in comparison to other electronics printing techniques present currently. This is mainly because it does not make use of expensive equipment like vacuum chambers that need long hours of operation to arrive at the appropriate pressure. Further, the method is much more sustainable as well.
Researchers stated that since people upgrade their electronics every two years, it creates a large amount of electronic waste. In the future, if the electronics are so biodegradable that they can be simply thrown away, then the environment would fare comparatively well. The biodegradability factor provided by the present technique also improves the security of devices. Traditional silicon-based electronics can only be made secure through encryption, but the biodegradable does security further ahead.
In the near future, the team would undertake the investigation to make the printing process even friendlier to large-scale industries. Optimizing the printing procedure and printing it on the skin for monitoring health would also be one of the priority areas.