Metal Ink Makes Ebook Smell Like Paperback. +1 For Flexible Electronics.

A story is best when read and felt, and it's even better if you could smell the pages on which your favorite characters have been sketched upon. A few bookworm Chinese scientists wanted to enjoy the same paperback feel in this growing era of ebooks, and are in process of developing a metal ink from small sheets of copper (which are cheap and highly conductive), which could be employed to write on a working flexible electric circuit on your everyday printer paper. Their study was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.


This conductive ink would indeed be revolutionary, adding a whole new dimension of smell in flexible electronics/bendable gadgets. Copper nanosheets were coated with silver nanoparticles and incorporated in this versatile conductive ink, which was then sucked up by an ink pen that drew line patters, writ words and drew even flower patters on a regular printer paper. To demonstrate that the ink could conduct electricity, the scientists mounted small LED lights on the sketches, which lit up when the circuit was connected to a battery. The flexibility tests were done by folding the papers 1000 times, after which the conductivity was still at a strong 90%.

The research is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


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