Scientists in Switzerland have developed a technology to produce ultra thin and flexible ICs




Scientists in Switzerland have developed a technology to produce ultra thin and flexible ICs


Scientific staff ETH Zurich have created a transparent electronic chip, so thin that it can be placed even on contact lenses or wrap around a human hair. Technology development of such chips, created by Dr. Giovanni Salvatore, in the future it will be possible to use, for example, in medical devices. And one of the most promising directions in this matter may be ” smart contact lenses “that can control eye pressure in people with glaucoma.

When creating similar chips were applied layer deposition technology by electron beam evaporation, atomic layer deposition, the creation of the coating produced by centrifugation, as well as radio frequency sputtering method. The structure is created by chip technology ultraviolet lithography and etching. Scheme itself is created on the basis of material that bears the name Polylen (palylene), which is an insulator, and is traditionally used to create a protective coating for electronic devices and their components.

“Polylen is a suitable material because it can withstand very high temperatures (in this manufacturing process are up to 150 degrees Centigrade), and because it is not exposed to chemical reagents and solvents are required for producing such chips” – explains Nico Manzenrider, one of the study’s authors.


“Moreover, it is transparent and is a biocompatible material that is very important in cases such as smart contact lenses. Well, of course, it is flexible. ”

Currently, scientists are looking for a way to create a wireless power source for “smart lenses.” And by this source may be, for example, magnetic field. In addition, the possibility of collecting surface watered solar and kinetic energy.


In addition to “smart contact lenses,” according Manzenridera, technology can be used for the production of “smart” sports equipment, as well as in hospitals, which require monitoring the physiological state of patients. Checking the temperature, for example. However, a scientist actually approached the question and said that commercial opportunities to use this technology must complete a minimum of five years.

“Now the most important task for us is worth the search for food flexible and transparent chips” – explains Manzenrider.


“At the same time we are also working on creating more complex chips and sensors, such as humidity sensors, and gas concentration. In addition, we are considering the possibility of integrating such schemes directly to other equipment and materials. It is possible that one day on the basis of these chips will be created artificial leather for robots or artificial prostheses. ”

Swiss scientists research results were published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
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Tags: Chips , Nanotechnology .


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