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KAIST researchers develop electronic circuit chip out of paper

KAIST researchers develop electronic circuit chip out of paper

Posted November. 25, 2016 07:17,   

Updated November. 25, 2016 07:25


A South Korean research team has developed a technology that can apply paper just like a silicon (Si) board. The new development is expected not only to lower the price, but also to significantly reduce negative environmental impacts arising from production and destruction of electronic circuits.

Led by Professor Cho Yong-hoon of Department of Physics at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the research team announced on Thursday that it has developed a technology that can combine nanometers of micro semiconductor elements on a paper.

Until now, electronic circuits were mostly compressed on boards manufactured in silicon. To compose a circuit, chemical process is required to melt the surface, thus leading to environmental issues during the manufacturing process. Moreover, the researchers also consider the environmental impacts when discarding obsolete electronic circuit chips.

The team was the first to operate a 500nm-wide micro optical component on a paper. Optical components are light-detecting elements, and were considered inactive when placed on a paper with a rough surface due to scattered lights. However, Professor Cho and his team members discovered from the experiments that when the fiber thread (or cellulose) on the surface of a paper is smaller than the optical component, the cellulose can still show high performances.

“Increasingly higher demands for electronics shortened their replacement period, and are currently producing massive amounts of obsolete electronic circuits,” Professor Cho said. “The recent development to combine cheap paper with high-functional optical components is both eco-friendly and inexpensive.”

The recent findings were published on “Advanced Materials,” an international journal on material science.