Friday, April 19, 2024

Paper’s Roughness No Longer An Issue In Papertronics

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The study led to the successful creation of tunable resistors, capacitors, and field-effect transistors, all embedded within a single sheet of paper.

A research at Binghamton University lead by  Professor Seokheun Sean Choi has addressed the issue of paper’s porous and rough nature that hindered fabrication and performance of papertronics. Papertronics are biodegradable electronics that currently find application in single use sensors used in smart bandages, food packaging and agriculture.

A major challenge in using paper for electronics is  its high porosity and roughness. While these properties benefit paper fluidics, they pose obstacles for electronic applications. To address these issues, papertronics traditionally used laminated paper with electronic components attached. This approach retains paper’s flexibility but doesn’t fully leverage its potential.

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Choi, alongside Ph.D. students Zahra Rafiee and Anwar Elhadad from the Bioelectronics and Microsystems Laboratory, developed a technique that capitalizes on paper’s characteristics. They combined functional inks, capillary action for ink distribution, and hydrophobic wax patterns to create circuit boundaries.

Their study showcases the successful creation of tunable resistors, capacitors, and field-effect transistors, all embedded within a single sheet of paper. By utilizing the rough and porous texture of paper as a strategic advantage, this approach enables the precise fabrication of intricate electronic components, challenging previous assumptions that deemed paper unsuitable for such applications.

Machine learning algorithms are used in predicting and enhancing the performance of these papertronic components. This paves the way for the development of compact printed circuit boards with increased circuit density, allowing for the integration of various analog and digital circuits in single or multi-layer paper formats.

Looking ahead, Choi and his team are considering packaging techniques for long-term operation and the development of additional electronic components like inductors, diodes, and displays.These advancements position papertronics as a viable and environmentally friendly alternative in the electronics industry, enabling widespread adoption and continuous innovation in sustainable electronic solutions.

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