Shape Shifting Electronic Devices

Shape Shifting Electronic Devices

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

“The parts can move, and so that allows us to modify the size and shape of a device after it’s been made.” – Javier Sanchez-Yamagishi, assistant professor of physics & astronomy

Researchers at University of California, Irvine, working with a team from Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science, have reported the discovery of nano-scale devices that can transform into many different shapes and sizes even though they exist in solid states. This comes in contrast to conventional nano-scale electronic parts in devices like smartphones, that are solid, static objects that once designed and built cannot transform into anything else. This recent finding could fundamentally change the nature of electronic devices, as well as the way scientists research atomic-scale quantum materials.

“The significance of this research is that it demonstrates a new property that can be utilized in these materials that allows for fundamentally different types of devices architectures to be realized, including mechanically reconfigure parts of a circuit,” said Ian Sequeira, a Ph.D student in Sanchez-Yamagishi’s lab.

What they saw specifically was that tiny nano-scale gold wires could slide with very low friction on top of crystals called “van der Waals materials”. Taking advantage of these slippery interfaces, they made electronic devices made of single-atom thick sheets of graphene attached to gold wires that can be transformed into a variety of different configurations on the fly.

Read the full report at Graphene Info

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