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Tag: printed electronics

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Printed electronics and functional printing are booming. This is why our weekly future links are all about current developments in this sector. We featured a new centre for printed electronics in Durham, a new 3D-printed series of multi-layered rigid PCBs with flexible conductive connectors, lightweight flexible solar modules and a review of flexible and printed electronics in 2016.

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Thanks to their versatility, printed electronics are booming. On our blog we have already shown how they can be used in the medical field, to prevent accidents, to solve crimes or to generate power. Who would have thought that they also are able to spread music throughout the world?

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is looking forward to an exciting future. Although it is going to entail many advantages, some experts are concerned about its environmental impact. After all, it will comprise more than 200 billion connected devices by 2021 resulting in a huge amount of e-waste due to the batteries needed in order to power them. But Finnish researchers are already searching for a solution.

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The blood alcohol level is the most precise indicator of a person’s intoxication. For a long time it has been necessary to take blood samples for this purpose, but now screen printing offers a more practicable solution.

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There are several medications that have to be stored at a certain temperature. Otherwise they might not only become unusable but also dangerous to the patient’s health. Add this to the fact that patients are not constantly adhering to their prescriptions or forget to take their medicine and you see how important smart packaging has become for the pharma industry.

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Printed electronics is one of the super trends at the moment. A great demand for transparent and highly flexible circuits used for solar panels or touchscreens drives scientists around the world to invent innovative ways of production. Now researchers from INM developed a new printing technique to reach a new level for ultra-thin and ultra-flexible electronics.

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As electronics are getting both smaller and more powerful, electronics manufacturers are searching for new ways to increase performance. One way to still push the performance forward is by improving the architecture of the electronic components by stacking multiple structural layers on top of each other. Beta Layout GmbH is using 3D printing technology to manufacture and test prototypes of innovative circuit carriers and printed circuit boards.

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As printed electronics become more common, the Norwegian company Thinfilm is evolving from a technology to a product company. While all of their products show potential, experts forecast the highest growth in NFC Open Sense tags. Depending on the context, the NFC tags can serve several purposes: One of the most important one is anti-counterfeit protection. When used on expensive wine bottles, the tags can indicate whether a bottle has been opened.

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Conventional electronic components have some disadvantages: They add weight and have the tendency to break. While this is not a huge problem on earth, the need to bring replacement parts can add significant costs to a space mission. Dr. Lynn Rothschild from NASA is now working on a solution that uses microbes as bioink and a printer to recycle spent electronics.

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Many news stories about printed electronics have focused on breakthroughs in research labs. But the field is advancing from lab to fab, from research to manufacturing. DuPont Advanced Materials is launching a new electronic ink for inkjet printing under the name PE410 that offers the high conductivity and strong adhesion required for rapid digital design, prototyping and full-scale manufacturing.