Chemical Plastic

January 4, 2013

Plastic Electronics is just in the Ascendant

Filed under: Chemical Plastic Research — Tags: , , , — Administrator @ 8:52 am

In electronics there’s a common understanding that silicon and other elements are responsible for bringing our gadgets to life while plastic serves as the supporting structure. But what if that plastic could be both the brains and the brawn? Better yet, what if plastic was pliable enough to form all sorts of wearable electronics and even implantable medical devices?

Actually, electronics made from conductive plastic have been in the works for at least a decade. Among them, one of the difficulties has been overcoming is a loss of conductivity when plastic electronics are stretched too far.

A team of researchers from the U.S., South Korea and China say that they have found a method to keep an electrical connection even after stretching their specially made plastic more than four times its normal size. The key is to make a highly porous polymer, and then fill those pores with liquid metal.

Imagine that, these “3-D stretchable conductors” being used to make artificial eyes that restore vision or synthetic skin that monitors blood glucose levels. A bit out-there, I know, but science has a knack for catching up with science fiction.

* Originally posted: Plastic Electronics is in the Ascendant

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