The term printed electronics refers to the application of printing technologies for the fabrication of electronic circuits and devices, increasingly on flexible plastic or paper substrates. Traditionally, electronic devices are mainly manufactured by photolithography, vacuum deposition, and electroless plating processes. In contrast to these multistaged, expensive, and wasteful methods, inkjet printing offers a rapid and cheap way of printing electrical circuits with commodity inkjet printers and off-the-shelf materials.
Researchers have developed a low-cost generic batch process using a state-of-the-art CMOS process to transform conventional silicon electronics into flexible and transparent electronics while retaining its high-performance, ultra-large-scale-integration density and cost. This process relies on standard and cheap silicon (100) wafer and microfabrication techniques, which allows to fabricate high performing devices. Furthermore, it allows the recyclability of the wafer to produce several substrates with devices, making it economically attractive.
External stimuli, such as light, mechanical force, magnetic field, electrical field and electrochemical potential, are all driving forces that can be utilized to modulate the structure or conformation of molecules, and therefore to affect the performance of functional molecular devices. In new work, researchers take advantage of synergetic modulation by multiple external controls to explore multi-modulable molecular devices with the help of chemical tailoring, which have not been addressed so far.
Researchers demonstrate a strategy for the fabrication of memristive nanodevices with stable and tunable performance by assembling ferritin monolayer inside a on-wire lithography-generated 12 nm gap. This work work uses the unique high iron loading capacity of Archaeoglobus fulgidus ferritin. The iron loading in the nanocages drastically impacts the performance of the memristive devices. The higher iron loading amount contributes to better memristive performance due to higher electrochemical activity of the ferric complex core.
Silicon offers a unique combination between mechanical and electrical properties making it one of the most developed materials in semiconductor industry. However, silicon is brittle and cannot be flexed, hindering its potential for high performance electronics that is flexible, stretchable or applied to irregular shapes. Researchers have now developed a pragmatic approach to achieve high performance integrated electronic systems, including thermoelectric energy harvesters, onto flexible silicon substrates.
Previous work in stretchable, flexible electronics has shown that conventional, silicon wafer based fabrication techniques can be modified to apply electronics conformally to the heterogeneous topography of the skin. Now, researchers have demonstrated the development of a device platform that enables high precision temperature mapping of the skin in ways that have, until now, been extremely difficult in research and impossible to implement for widespread use.
Advances in materials, fabrication strategies and device designs for flexible and stretchable electronics and sensors make it possible to envision a not-too-distant future where ultra-thin, flexible circuits based on inorganic semiconductors can be wrapped and attached to any imaginable surface, including body parts and even internal organs. Robotic technologies will also benefit as it becomes possible to fabricate electronic skin ('e-skin') that, for instance, could allow surgical robots to interact, in a soft contacting mode, with their surroundings through touch.
Heat has become one of the most critical issues in computer and semiconductor design: The ever increasing number of transistors in computer chips requires more efficient cooling approaches for the hot spots which are generated as a result of the operation of the transistors. Researchers have now demonstrated a microfluidic technique of using thermally conductive and magnetic nanoparticles that can form low-dimensional fins in the vicinity of hot spots. This work is the first ever report on using nanoparticles for making nanofins on demand in microfluidics.