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‘Drawable’ Electronic Circuit Technology Creates Radical Possibilities For Flexible Gadgets

drunkdrone quotes a report from International Business Times: Who said pen and paper was dead? German scientists have developed a new type of ink that allows fully-functioning electronic circuits to be “written” directly onto a surface from a pen. The technology could provide an inexpensive means of manufacturing printed circuits suitable for flexible smartphones, tablets and other radical gadget designs. The circuits are ready to be used as soon as the ink dries and requires no additional processing, claim researchers from the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM). Printed electronics are usually created through a process called “sintering,” whereby powdered metals are heated to form conductive electric circuits. Sintering is used to remove organic materials and fuse metal components in electronic inks, but because of the heat involved it can damage materials that are sensitive to high temperatures — for example paper and certain types of plastic. The new hybrid inks remove the need for sintering altogether, allowing the electronics to quite literally be drawn on to the material. The report notes that the hybrid inks are “made of gold and silver particles coated with conductive polymers,” which, among other things, allows the circuits to be bent without losing electrical conductivity. The researchers will demonstrate their findings at this year’s Hannover Messe industrial fair on April 24-26.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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