Research team develops conducive polymers used in flexible, wearable devices

Research team develops conducive polymers used in flexible, wearable devices
09 Aug

It's been more than two decades since scientists found out polymers are not insulators However, thanks to nano technology and the work of a Korean team of scientists,

conducive polymers are expected to be widely used in the production of wearable, flexible, bendable materials and devices Kim Ji-yeon opens our eyes to the new technology A local team of researchers came up with a technology that makes it possible to mass produce highly conducive and transparent electrodes

that are two times more conducive, energy efficient, and more compatible to wear compared to the widely used polymer, indium tin oxide Instead of the commonly used dipping, spraying and coating methods to produce conducive polymers, the team used a roll to roll process, which implies creating electronic materials on a roll of flexible plastic or metal foil The process better eliminates defects and allows the direct patterning of the material as well as get rid of one of the biggest obstacles in the manufacturing of flexible displays and devices, which is reducing the material's hefty price tag "The technology is expected to greatly reduce the costs of making flexible screens for electronic devices

" Up until now, local manufacturers had to import conducive polymers from Germany with a price tag of more than 1-thousand-700 US dollars for less than one liter of the material The team says it could reduce material/unit costs by more than one-tenth of the amount "The printable electrode materials have the potential to open up a new market of wearable devices since the material has more processability and compatability compared to metals and ceramic

" In the long term, the research team says it plans to utilize the technology to produce flexible and wearable solar batteries and transistors that could be used to power electronic devices in outer space The team's research has been published in the internationally renowned Advanced Materials journal in December of 2016 Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News

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