Researchers in the US claim to have developed a type of soluble semiconductor ink which could help to make bendable computer screens a reality, and provide cheap sensor tagging mechanisms to allow retailers to keep better track of inventory.
Developed by researchers at Polyera and BASF Future Business, the innovative semiconductor ink carries an N-Type negative charge. Up until now, semiconductor inks have only been able to carry a positive charge, such as that developed by Xerox back in 2004.
This new form of N-type ink, made by dissolving a specific molecule in a certain solvent, can be printed on to any flexible material, including plastic and paper, using only a modified ink-jet printer.
Being able to print electronics in much the same way as newspapers are printed could become a highly cost-effective way of printing radio frequency ID tags on a multitude of products and consumer goods, as well as opening up vast new possibilities in the world of sensor technology.
Likewise, being able to electronically keep track of inventory cheaply could have a significant impact on retailers.
Polyera plans to market and sell its soluble N-type semiconductor ink under the brand name ActivInk.
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