Feeds

'World's first' transistor-printing plant opens

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Austrian manufacturer Nanoident Technologies today cut the ribbon on the world's first factory that literally prints opto-electronic sensor circuitry and components onto virtually any surface, including plastic, ceramic and silicon.

The Linz plant operates like a giant inkjet printer. The semiconductor is made of up of conjugated polymers and nanoparticles sprayed onto a substrate in a pattern that creates the circuitry layout. Some of the new sensors are 100sm thick. Others are just ten atoms wide. To give you an idea of the scale, a human hair is 50,000nm thick.

Nanoident circuitry printer unit
A Nanoident circuitry printer unit

Nanoident's printing method means that virtually any material can be 'printed' on. The substance used can be rigid or flexible, flat or curved, thick or as thin as 20 micrometres - one-fifth the thickness of standard 80gsm paper. Once dry, the structural integrity of the printed material is tested to ensure it's up to the standard needed for use.

Unlike silicon components that often result in waste by-products, the materials used in this new method of production are not damaging to the environment, Nanoident claimed. Because the construction process has to be very precise, no unnecessary product over-matter is manufactured.

Nanoident also claimed the 'ink' is absolutely 100 per cent environmentally friendly. The nanoparticles, for example, are manufactured from silver and contain no additional dangerous or hazardous chemicals, it said. But because these semiconductors are actually so very, very small, the disposal of any product using these components actually depends on how the whole product is disposed of.

Nanoident circuitry printer head
Nanoident circuitry printer head

One of the most prolific uses of this new technology is in medical science, advancing the development of biological sensors and x-ray scanners. It also has industrial and security uses, such reducing the size of and increasing the efficiency of biometric locking devices, the company said.

In addition to any positive uses this new production process may present, it is of course inevitable that it will be also be used for military purposes, Nanoident admitted. Pity.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.