Image Courtesy : PlasticLogic
In the latest developments of flexible and bendeable elctronics, a kickstarter called Ynvisible, a lisbon based firm have developed paper thin circuitry and boards that display a quality of LCD. Their product, Printoo, the amazing modules are flexible, and attached to any object such as cans, clothes, toys, and they come with both LEDs as well as flat, flexible electrochromatic displays for output. With this idea the company generated over $20,000 in less than four days after going live. The idea behind this invention was not only to bring the technology to early adopters so they could figure out wider applications for it, but also bring everyday objects to life. And for that to happen, it isn’t just processing power that needs to get cheaper and smaller, which it has, but the input and output mechanisms also need to be smaller and easily adaptable. But creating perfectly stretchy electronics involves diving down to their molecular structure and optimizing every single material that goes into them for stretchability and electronic properties.
How diverse the flexible electronics’ technology is going to grow?
While flexible gadgets such as “electronic skin” and roll-up touch screens are moving ever closer to reality, their would-be power sources are either too wimpy or too stiff. But that’s changing fast, there have been many materials that have been investigated for energy storage potential are pliant but don’t pack much power, or they can load up on energy but are rigid, and also these materials fall short as reliable super-capacitors, which are batteries’ lesser-known cousins that step in when the main energy source peters out, and while seeking a better solution to this energy hurdle, Tour’s team took a different approach. They figured out a way to make a flexible thin film out of nickel and fluoride that is full of tiny holes, or nanopores. Flexible electronics are all the rage these days, as their development could boost a generation of devices that can be worn on our wrists or embedded in our clothes. There has been a great development of flexible electronics in the last few years as the industry has took off and the technology is already being utilized in medical devices. Yet, the flexibility of these electronic components relies in large part on creating squiggly metal wires that can flex and compress. The material isn’t truly flexible at its core, which limits its capabilities.
Vision of this technology creators
The goal is to draw attention to the ways in which organic conductors and semiconductors specifically designed to accommodate large strains can enable highly deformable devices, which embody the original vision of organic electronics. Barriers that remain before this technology can be commercialized involve protecting the sensitive stretchable semiconductors from oxygen and water vapor, which degrade the properties of the devices, and so we need barriers in the literal sense: stretchable, transparent films that exclude water and oxygen. The final idea is that the principal and primary objective is that while the field of plastic electronics has achieved impressive gains in the last few decades in terms of electronic performance, and therefore all semiconducting polymers are not equally plastic in nature or in the sense posses deformable quality producing capability, and thus materials tested on glass substrates may fail in the real world and may not be amenable to stretchable, or even modestly flexible systems. Not only that but the engineers at Rice University have developed a thin, flexible, high-performance battery that could be a game changer for the world of wearable electronics.
So, according to the engineers, the new battery and the invention is an amalgamation of a nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrode and solid electrolyte. Measuring in at around a hundredth of an inch thick, the energy cell has the properties of a supercapacitor, which lends it the ability to absorb and discharge current at an incredible rate. While observing and speaking of it Mr Yang, who is one of the creator of this technology said, “Compared with a lithium-ion device, the battery’s structure is quite simple and safe, and it behaves like a battery but the structure is that of a supercapacitor. If we use it as a supercapacitor, we can charge quickly at a high current rate and discharge it in a very short time.
But for other applications, we find we can set it up to charge more slowly and to discharge slowly like a battery.” About flexible electronics, it could be easy to conclude that with the eyeing the high numbers, Fuel bands and competitors in a room full of people in London, New York or San Francisco and many other global cities, that wearable computing has already arrived and is here to stay. But wearables are at the stage PCs were back in the days of old storage devices such as floppy disks and compact CDs. To take but one problem, that the wristbands that aim to monitor body processes don’t have a stable connection to the body and the whole data is not entirely accurate. The trouble is, it’s taken years to amass the manufacturing refinements and economies of scale that make computer chips cheap enough for many of the consumers to own several computerized devices, and using the new flexible parts would substantially scuttle cost savings. Flexible electronic componentry is one plausible solution, making it possible for wearable electronics to sit directly on the skin as an adhesive patch, and that could happen on a larger scale soon.