Latest in Science

Image credit:

Nanofiber film could lead to electronic skin

It's very conductive, very transparent, and importantly... very cheap.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 13, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

If you want electronic skin or other transparent wearable devices, you need to send a current through that skin. However, it's hard to make something that's both conductive and transparent -- and that's where a team of American and Korean researchers might save they day. They've developed a nanofiber film that's 92 percent transparent, but has electrical resistance that's "at least" 10 times better than the previous best. You create it by electrospinning polyacrylonitrile (a polymer resin) until it forms a mat, spatter-coat it with metal and then electroplate it. The result is a material that eases the flow of current but is mostly made up of see-through holes.

The technology should be very durable: you can subject it to "severe" bending and flexing without losing its features. And crucially, it should be cheap to make. You're using relatively common materials, and the processes only take a few seconds even in the lab -- you could mass-produce this without jumping through hoops. It'll be a long time before that happens, but the scientists envision a world where flexible electronics are genuinely practical. On top of e-skin for health sensors, you could see flexible solar panels, roll-up touchscreens and more sophisticated wearables.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

Jabra's ANC update for the Elite 75t earbuds is now available

View
Apple pulls TV Remote app now that it's built into iOS

Apple pulls TV Remote app now that it's built into iOS

View
Apple iPad Air (2020) review: Who needs the iPad Pro?

Apple iPad Air (2020) review: Who needs the iPad Pro?

View
The 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 falls to $400 at Amazon

The 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 falls to $400 at Amazon

View
The latest ‘Fortnite’ patch makes the game 60GB smaller on PC

The latest ‘Fortnite’ patch makes the game 60GB smaller on PC

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr