University of Tokyo Researchers Develop Electricity-Conducting Ink

Lab-INK-Tokyo-WSJ

Jun Hongo reports: Researchers at the University of Tokyo said they have created a new electricity-conducting ink with high elasticity which can be used to print circuits on textile.
A circuit printed on a flexible textile using University of Tokyo’s electricity conducting ink. Someya Group Organic Transistor Lab

According to their research, published in Nature Communications magazine on Thursday, the elastic conductor ink is made from silver flakes, fluorine rubber and fluorine surfactant. There have been similar substances developed in the past, but the new fluid can be stretched up to three times and still keep its electrical conductivity.

“This is a technology that allows us to create conductors on a textile with a single printing step,” University of Tokyo professor Takao Someya told Japan Real Time Friday. “What’s new about them is that they are very flexible.”

Exactly how the new ink would be useful isn’t clear yet, although Prof. Someya has a number of ideas. Circuits printed on clothing could be used as part of medical devices measuring heart rate or other body activity, he suggested.

“In the future, the ink could be used to cover the entire outfit of a person and calculate how many calories he or she has burnt,” Prof. Someya said. Or, he said, the circuits might be used in…(read more)

WSJ



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