30 Jan '15, 4pm

What Will Electronics Be Made Of? Silk and Snails and the Eggs of Quails

What Will Electronics Be Made Of? Silk and Snails and the Eggs of Quails

Photo: Konstantin Inozemtsev/Getty Images The United Nations estimates that people throw away about 50 million metric tons of electronics every year. One way to lessen the problem, some scientists say, may be to use biological materials—including plant dyes and DNA—to build devices that are biodegradable and biocompatible. “We have to be ashamed” of the amount of e-waste humanity produces, Mihai Irimia-Vladu told a symposium on organic bioelectronics at the December meeting of the Materials Research Society , in Boston. Irimia-Vladu, a materials scientist at Joanneum Research in Weiz, Austria, has used cellulose as a dielectric layer in an inverter circuit and shellac as a dielectric in organic field-effect transistors. Many other biological materials could be transformed into suitable dielectrics, he says, including aloe, silk, and egg whites. Beeswax and carnauba wax—der...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/materials/what-wi...

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