Inexpensive printed sensors, transistors, and memory devices that aren't as speedy or as high-capacity as silicon devices could enable the widespread use of sensors in places that aren't cost-effective today. Disposable devices could monitor and store information about the temperature of drugs, the safety of food during shipping, or air quality.
Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which is owned by Xerox, have been developing a suite of materials for making printed electronics, including sensors and transistors. This week at the Printed Electronics USA conference in Santa Clara, California, PARC announced details about two partnerships to develop products based on its research prototypes. PARC will work with Norwegian company Thin Film Electronics to make higher-capacity printed memory devices that incorporate the research center's printed transistors. And PARC is working with Soligie of Savage, Minnesota, to develop products based on its printed temperature sensors.
Much of the excitement around printed electronics has centered on the potential to replace silicon electronics in complex devices, such as display screens, so they can roll up. For these types of applications, researchers are working to match silicon's performance in materials that are just as fast and efficient, but flexible and inexpensive.
From Technology Review
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