Flexible electronics

Watching a video on paper or having electronics processed into clothing: these are amongst the promises of of flexible electronics. Researchers in the micro-electronics research group (EEMCS) at TU Delft have developed a technique that has brought these applications a step closer. They have made chips from silicon ink. Liquid silicon has been around for decades, but making transistors from it requires heating the ink to a temperature of 350 degrees Celsius. Few flexible bases are able to withstand such temperatures. The silicon ink that the TU Delft researchers have developed, in collaboration with colleagues at the technical university of Nomi in Japan, can be processed at room temperature. Although the process does require firing the material with ultraviolet laser light, this takes so little time – only a few nanoseconds – that the underlying substrate does not become any hotter than 150 degrees Celsius.

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