Electronics Current Affairs

Researchers develop first stretchable integrated circuit using an inkjet printer

Researchers from US based Michigan State University have developed the first stretchable integrated circuit (IC) made entirely using an inkjet printer.

This elastic material is made up of several materials fabricated from nanomaterials and organic compounds.  These compounds are dissolved in solution to produce different electronic inks, which can easily run through printer to make devices.

Key Facts
  • Using the ink, the researchers have successfully created the elastic material, the circuit and the organic light-emitting diode (OLED). The next step is combining the circuit and OLED into a single pixel.
  • Benefits: As the material is produced using a standard printer, it has a major potential cost advantage over current technologies that are expensive to manufacture.
  • Besides, stretchable electronic fabric can be easily folded and put in one’s pocket without breaking.
  • Potential applications: The new stretchable ICs can be used in smart tablet that could be stretched in size, from small to extra-large.
  • Besides, it can be used in wearable electronics like rubber band-like wrist monitor that measures the wearer’s heartbeat, soft robotics applications and wallpaper that turns an entire wall into an electronic display.

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Researchers develop world’s smallest nanoscale diode

Researchers have developed the world’s smallest nanoscale diode or molecular rectifier that could impact the development of molecular electronic devices in future.

The breakthrough was achieved by the researchers from the University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). It has size of single molecule and facilitates electronic current flow in one direction.

How it was developed?

  • Researchers took a single DNA molecule made from 11 base pairs and connected it to an electronic circuit just a few nanometres in size.
  • When current was passed through this molecule, it remained electrically neutral and didn’t show any changes.
  • Later they inserted layers of a molecule called coralyne between layers of DNA which made in electrically active and the behaviour of the circuit showing necessary characteristics of a nano diode.

Significance: In future it may help in the design and construction of nano-scale electronic elements that are at least 1,000 times smaller than current components.

What are diodes?

  • Diodes are electronic devices that that allow current to move through it in one direction with far greater ease but not another.
  • The most common diodes in modern electronics circuit design are the semiconductor diode, although other diode technologies exist.
  • They are responsible for moving current around a lot of common electronics, and are printed by the millions onto modern-day silicon chips.

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