Plastic semiconductor technology for use in low-cost applications, such as price tags and bottle tops, has been developed by scientists in Cambridge.
Researchers at Plastic Logic have received backing to develop plastic circuitry for making low-cost smart appliances. Amadeus Capital Partners will invest £1.75m in Plastic Logic. Other investors include Cambridge Research and Innovation, and US chemical company Dow Ventures.
Most semiconductors are made from silicon, which involves a complex production process. Plastic Logic said it has developed a method of printing plastic on to a polymer substrate, making it a much cheaper and more flexible transistor.
The company said plastic chips will be printed on to rolls of film that can be applied to anything from clothing to the tops of bottles, opening up a vast range of new surfaces on or into which electronic devices can be implemented. For example, microchips can be used as price tags in clothing or labels for supermarket goods.
Other companies which are said to be considering developing such chips include Lucent Technologies, IBM, Xerox, Hitachi and Philips. Plastic Logic has patented its production process.
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