According to foreign media reports, the team of researchers at Virginia Tech University announced on communications materials that they had created a soft electronics.
The team created these skin like boards that are soft and elastic, that can operate over load multiple times without losing conductivity, and can be recycled at the end of product life to generate new circuits. The device provides the foundation for the development of other intelligent devices with self repairing, reconfiguration and recyclability.
In the past few decades, the development of science and technology has been optimizing towards human friendly, including ease of use, comfort, portability, human sensitivity and intelligent communication with the surrounding environment. Kilwon Cho believes that the software circuit board is the most promising next generation of flexible and malleable electronic equipment technology. The innovation of materials, design innovation, excellent hardware facilities and efficient processing platform are all necessary conditions for realizing software and electronic technology.
1、 Flexible new materials make the circuit board softer
Current consumer electronic devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, use rigid printed circuit boards. The soft circuit developed by Bartlett’s team replaces these inflexible materials with soft electronic composites and tiny and tiny conductive liquid metal droplets.
Ravi tutika, a postdoctoral researcher, said: “in order to manufacture circuits, we have realized the expansion of circuit boards through the technology of embossing. This method allows us to quickly manufacture adjustable circuits by selecting droplets.”
2、 Stretch 10 times and use it. No fear of drilling and damage
The soft circuit board has a soft and flexible circuit, just like the skin, and can continue to work even in the case of extreme damage. If a hole is made in these circuits, it will not be completely cut off as traditional wires do, and tiny conductive liquid metal droplets can establish new circuit connections around the holes to continue to power on.
In addition, the new type of soft circuit board has a great ductility. During the research, the research team tried to pull the equipment to more than 10 times the original length, and the equipment still works normally without failure.
3、 The recyclable circuit materials provide the basis for the production of “sustainable electronic products”
Tutika said the soft circuit board could repair the circuit by selectively connecting the drop connection, or even could re-make the circuit after dissolving the completely disconnected circuit material.
At the end of product life, metal droplets and rubber materials can also be reprocessed and returned to liquid solutions, which can effectively recycle them. This method provides a new direction for the production of sustainable electronics.
Conclusion: the future development of soft electronic equipment
The soft circuit board created by the researchers’ team of Virginia Tech University has the characteristics of self repairing, high ductility and recyclability, which also shows that the technology has a wide range of application scenarios.
Although no smart phones have been made as soft as skin, the rapid development of the field has also brought more possibilities for wearable soft electronics and software robots.
How to make electronic equipment more human is a problem that everyone is concerned about. But soft electronic products with comfortable, soft and durable circuits may bring better use experience to consumers.
Post time: Aug-04-2021