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Scientists develop rubbery materials that conduct electricity

by on08 August 2008


Mold for artificial eye implant

In a breakthrough in the development of electronics, scientists at the University of Tokyo in Japan have reported that they have developed a rubbery material that conducts electricity. This is a key characteristic in making electronic devices that bend and stretch.

Scientist Tsuyoshi Sekitani reported that the material was developed using carbon nanotubes, long carbon molecules that are capable of conducting electricity. Next, a rubbery polymer was added to form the base material and then a grid of tiny transistors was attached to the material. When the materials were tested it was stretched to almost twice its original size and then released. It snapped back into place and did not affect the transistors or destroy the conductive properties of the materials.  Sekitani said that the material could be used on curved surfaces or even in moving parts, such as the joints of a robotic arm.

Additionally, a U.S. research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported that it has developed an elastic mesh material from standard electronics materials to construct an electronic eye camera that resembles the human eye. This device could be used as a model for the development of an artificial eye implant. (Finally I can take my patch off and pillage in full 3D. Yarr! Turn to port laddies! sub.ed.)
Last modified on 08 August 2008
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