Engineers and scientists have been making electronics thinner, more flexible and tougher for years--there are circuits with gold in them you can stretch, arrays of sensors that flex and electronic tattoos that can go on the skin.
Now a team at the
The featherlight circuit board could lead to electronic clothing, super-thin displays and solar panels and implanted electronics that are nearly imperceptible.
To make the circuit boards so thin, the researchers put an ultra-thin (19-nanometers) layer of aluminum on top of a stretchy polymer layer only a single micron thick. (A micron is 1/1000th of a millimeter).
On top of that, the scientists put a set of transistors--the basic building blocks of a computer--made of another kind of polymer and gold. The whole thing was so lightweight that a square yard of it weighed less than a tenth of an ounce.
Such a characteristic makes this electronic circuit durable. If used in a wearable computer, for example, a device would still work even if it got twisted or bent.
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