Biodegradable printed electronics thanks to Empa. A new e-ink was created

Biodegradable printed electronics thanks to Empa.  A new e-ink was created

Printed electronics has enormous potential, which is awakened by modern technology, including NFC. Therefore, scientists do not want to make the same mistake that was made in the past with a whole host of technologies and products, and even before the boom in using it, they made it greener. Swiss scientists from Empa have developed e-ink, which is nothing more than biodegradable printed electronics.

E-ink, i.e. Biodegradable printed electronics at your fingertips

At this point, most 3D-printed electrical circuits are made of conductive inks that contain heavy metals and non-renewable petroleum-based polymers. It is a cheap method of production and even ideal for disposable electronic devices, but it is associated with the problem of negative environmental impact after throwing them away. So, in the search for a more environmentally friendly alternative, scientists from the Swiss research institute Empa have developed an e-ink that puts biodegradable printed electronics at your fingertips.

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This new e-ink is made from renewable materials, so it decomposes when exposed to the outside and can also be removed with alcohol. I am talking about elongated graphite plates, which provide most of the ink’s conductivity and complement the particles of also conductive soot, filling the gaps between these plates. These two inexpensive forms of carbon are contained in a resin matrix secreted by specific insects.

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We hope this ink system can be used in sustainable printed electronics applications. For example, for conductive paths and sensor components in smart packaging and biomedical devices, or in the field of food and environmental sensing

– said one of the researchers whose papers were published in Scientific Reports, Dr. Gustav Nyström.

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After a few trial and error, scientists created a durable, flexible, waterproof and highly conductive e-ink that can be printed in both 2D and 3D using existing technologies. At the moment, we do not know anything about its commercialization and introduction to the market.


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