Ultra-flexible chip can be wrapped around a hair


Scientists in Switzerland said Tuesday they can create electronic chips so flexible they can be wrapped around a human hair.

Scientists in Switzerland said Tuesday they can create electronic chips so flexible they can be wrapped around a human hair.

Scientists in Switzerland said Tuesday they can create electronic chips so flexible they can be wrapped around a human hair.

 (Excerpt from Phys.org and world news)

The technique entails building an electronic circuit on top of a sandwich of polyvinyl layers perched on a hard base.

The wafer is then placed in water, which dissolves two of the polyvinyl layers and causes the base to be released, sinking to the bottom of the lab dish.

Ultraflexible electronics can be achieved by dissolving a sacrificial polymer layer and releasing a thin polymer film from a host substrate. Credit: Salvatore et al

Ultraflexible electronics can be achieved by dissolving a sacrificial polymer layer and releasing a thin polymer film from a host substrate. Credit: Salvatore et al

What remains is a circuit embedded on a light, transparent non-soluble polymer film called parylene that is just one micrometre, or a millionth of a metre, thick.

Substrate wrapped around hairs. Credit: Salvatore et al

Substrate wrapped around hairs. Credit: Salvatore et al

The transistors continue to work even when wrapped around a human hair, which is about 50 micrometres thick, according to the research published in the journal Nature Communications.

The ultra-bendable chip may have medical uses, and has already been tested on an artificial eye in the lab.

The use of transparent materials enable the realization of transparent devices which can be transferred on to plastic contact lenses and can be used to monitor intra-ocular pressure for glaucoma. Credit: Salvatore et al

The use of transparent materials enable the realization of transparent devices which can be transferred on to plastic contact lenses and can be used to monitor intra-ocular pressure for glaucoma. Credit: Salvatore et al

It was added to a contact lens to provide a monitor for glaucoma, in which pressure builds up dangerously in the eyeball, said the team.

The invention also has many other potential outlets, from flexible solar cells to wearable bio-sensors, they said.

Devices containing tiny LEDs and other electronics — and narrower than the eye of a needle — can be injected deep inside the brain.

Devices containing tiny LEDs and other electronics — and narrower than the eye of a needle — can be injected deep inside the brain.

The electronics “can be transferred on any object, surface and on biological tissues like human skin and plant leaves,” according to the study led by Giovanni Salvatore at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETZ).

Rogers and colleagues’ first electronic “skin” placed electronic components on a thin, elastic polymer sheet that could be applied like a temporary tattoo.

Rogers and colleagues’ first electronic “skin” placed electronic components on a thin, elastic polymer sheet that could be applied like a temporary tattoo.

 
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About Georges Abi-Aad

CEO, electronic engineer with MBA in marketing. Multicultural; French citizen born in Lebanon working in the Middle East and fluent in French, English and Arabic. I have more than 30 years of proven experience in the Middle East with European know how. I am good in reorganization and in Global strategic management business. I am a dependable leader with an open approach in working with people, forging a strong team of professionals dedicated to the Company and its clientele. Perseverance is my key word. Married to Carole and having 2 children: Joy-Joelle and Antoine (Joyante!).
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