Electronic touch pads that cost just a few dollars and solar cells that cost the same as roof shingles are one step closer to reality today.
University of Minnesota engineers discover novel technology for producing “electronic ink”
Researchers in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., have overcome technical hurdles in the quest for inexpensive, durable electronics and solar cells made with non-toxic chemicals. The research was published in the most recent issue of Nature Communications, an international online research journal.
“Imagine a world where every child in a developing country could learn reading and math from a touch pad that costs less than $10 or home solar cells that finally cost less than fossil fuels,” said Uwe Kortshagen, a University of Minnesota mechanical engineering professor and one of the co-authors of the paper.
The research team discovered a novel technology to produce a specialized type of ink from non-toxic nanometer-sized crystals of silicon, often called “electronic ink.” This “electronic ink” could produce inexpensive electronic devices with techniques that essentially print it onto inexpensive sheets of plastic.
“This process for producing electronics is almost like screen printing a number on a softball jersey,” said Lance Wheeler, a University of Minnesota mechanical engineering Ph.D. student and lead author of the research.
But it’s not quite that easy. Wheeler, Kortshagen and the rest of the research team developed a method to solve fundamental problems of silicon electronic inks.
First, there is the ubiquitous need of organic “soap-like” molecules, called ligands, that are needed to produce inks with a good shelf life, but these molecules cause detrimental residues in the films after printing. This leads to films with electrical properties too poor for electronic devices. Second, nanoparticles are often deliberately implanted with impurities, a process called “doping,” to enhance their electrical properties.
In this new paper, researchers explain a new method to use an ionized gas, called nonthermal plasma, to not only produce silicon nanocrystals, but also to cover their surfaces with a layer of chlorine atoms. This surface layer of chlorine induces an interaction with many widely used solvents that allows production of stable silicon inks with excellent shelf life without the need for organic ligand molecules. In addition, the researchers discovered that these solvents lead to doping of films printed from their silicon inks, which gave them an electrical conductivity 1,000 times larger than un-doped silicon nanoparticle films. The researchers have a provisional patent on their findings.
To watch a research video of how silicon nanocrystals are synthesized in a plasma reactor, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Un_HnOl6lQ&feature=youtu.be.
“What this research means is that we are one step closer to producing more pure and more stable electronic ink with non-toxic chemicals,” Kortshagen said. “The bigger goal here is to find a way that this research can benefit everyone and make a real difference.”
The Latest Bing News on:
- Prime Day Has Started! Shop The Best Dealson October 13, 2020 at 12:05 pm
Laptops, TVs, Amazon devices, electronics, clothes, toys and more are all on sale for Amazon Prime Day 2020, so hurry up and shop!
- Rab’s Khroma Ski Line Focuses on Backcountry Descentson October 13, 2020 at 11:00 am
WIth the Khroma collection, Rab turns its attention to a ski line built to keep up with off-piste adventure. Rab built a reputation around decades of ...
- Best Prime Day Toy Deals 2020: the best Marvel, Funko, Fortnite and other toyson October 13, 2020 at 6:18 am
Most Amazon Prime Day 2020 shoppers are looking for steep discounts on electronics and gadgets ... $139.99 $79.99 on Amazon This tablet is durable and built for any abuse your kids will throw at it, ...
- Best Prime Day PC Deals 2020: Big savings on computers and accessorieson October 13, 2020 at 5:55 am
Along with Black Friday, Prime Day is the best time of the year to shop for electronics like 4K TVs ... you're sure to smoother motion and performance. Ergonomic and durable, the Razer Mamba is a nice ...
- Prime Day Furniture Deals (2020): Top Early Sofa, Rug & Patio Furniture, Desk & Office Chair Savings Rounded Up by Spending Labon October 12, 2020 at 7:21 pm
Compare the top early furniture deals for Amazon Prime Day 2020, including all the latest deals on sectional sofas, desks & ergonomic office chairs, patio furniture, rugs, and more Here’s a comparison ...
- Apple: Take The Money And Runon October 12, 2020 at 8:38 am
Besides maintaining durable EVA Margin levels on flagship hardware products, Apple excels in leveraging its ecosystem with adjacent offerings.
- Prime Day Electronics & Tech Deals 2020: Best Early Gadget, Tech Gear, & Office & Home Electronics Savings Rounded Up by Retail Eggon October 11, 2020 at 9:20 pm
The latest early electronics, tech, and gadget deals for Amazon Prime Day, including deals on the latest tech gear, gadget, & home, business, ...
- Scientists create self-repairing coating for cars, electronicson October 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Japanese researchers developed a high-molecular, self-healing substance to be used for a coating material to protect the surfaces of automobiles and electronic materials. The polymer material was ...
- Universal Electronics to supply voice enabled remote to Liberty Globalon October 9, 2020 at 4:35 am
Universal Electronics (UEI) is supplying a new voice-enabled remote control that will be used across six European countries.
- Diamond-like carbon coatings will make your smartphone display glass more durableon October 8, 2020 at 6:17 am
Gorilla Glass, a specialized glass manufactured by Corning for electronics, especially handheld gadgets like smartphones is found anywhere. Over the years, Corning improved its glass and it is ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Plus-Size Model Tess Holliday Strikes Co-Pro Deal With Glass Entertainment Group; Developing ‘Fat Ink’ Formaton October 13, 2020 at 10:00 am
Fat Ink is an emotional format that follows the journeys that plus size women go through to get tattooed. Holliday, who was the first plus size model signed to an agency, broke boundaries with her ...
- E Ink expects revenue to climb to four-year highon October 13, 2020 at 9:13 am
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays, expects revenue to climb to a four-year high this year as the COVID-19 pandemic helps fuel demand for e-readers and electronic ...
- The perfect angle for e-skin energy storageon October 13, 2020 at 5:36 am
Researchers at DGIST have found an inexpensive way to fabricate tiny energy storage devices that can effectively power flexible and wearable skin sensors along with other electronic devices, paving ...
- Amazon Kindle Oasis vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: which premium e-reader should you buy?on October 13, 2020 at 4:38 am
The Amazon Prime Day deals are already rolling in. You can bet your bottom dollar that there’ll be some top deals across the entire Amazon device range over the coming days. And that will almost ...
- Amazon Kindle vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: which e-reader is best?on October 13, 2020 at 3:49 am
Amazon Prime Day 2020 has arrived, it's time to get your hands on some of the top Prime Day Deals. Of all the products you can expect to be discounted, Amazon’s own Kindle range traditionally features ...
- The Best Kindle (and Other E-Readers) to Power Through Your Virtual Nightstand Stackon October 12, 2020 at 5:04 am
To consider the best kindle and e-readers in 2020 (and, yes, now is a particularly good time to consider one because Amazon's unlimited ebook subscription is 50% off for Prime Day), it's worth going ...
- PocketBook Color review: is color E Ink finally ready?on October 8, 2020 at 6:00 am
I’ve been looking at color e-reader prototypes as long as I’ve been a tech journalist. Back in the early days of The Verge, we’d often cover display technology like Qualcomm’s Mirasol or various E Ink ...
- Programmable Badge Uses E-Ink And ESP8266on October 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm
[Squaro Engineering] might have the solution with Badgy, their multi-function e-ink name…well, badge. Compatible with the Arduino SDK, it can serve as anything from a weather display to a remote ...
- E-Ink Price Tags Fall Off Store Shelves Onto Your Workbenchon October 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Such a moment came for [Aaron Christophel] when he bought a quantity of used e-ink price tags (German, Google Translate link) that had formerly graced the shelves of a supermarket. A pile of ...
- Ink Resins Market - Post Pandemic Business Strategies and Processes | Increasing Demand for Flexible Packaging in China to Boost Growth in the Materials Industry | Technavioon September 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Ink Resins Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire) LONDON-- ( BUSINESS WIRE )--The ink resins market is expected to grow by ...