Feeds

Stretchy 'bucky-gel' promises touchscreen video-stockings

Interactive nano-Spandex iPants for all

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Japanese boffins have developed a material which they believe could be used to make stretchy, highly flexible electronic circuitry. It goes almost without saying that their elasto-conductor miracle sheet is based on fashionable carbon nanotubes.

Science Magazine brings us the scoop on the rubbery circuitboard breakthrough. According to the report, one makes the stretchy conductor sheet by first mixing up nanotubes with ionic liquid to produce "bucky gel*", and then mixing this with polymer before spreading it out flat and drying it. Once dry, the flexibility is increased by making lots of tiny holes in the resulting sheet.

The end result, seemingly, is a flexible, elastic, porous material "like a woman's nylon stocking". The designers, led by Tokyo Uni engineering brainbox Takao Someya, say it is four times as stretchy as anything conductive, and a hundred times as conductive as anything stretchy. Someya and his colleague Tsuyoshi Sekitani have previously collaborated on similarly flexy pressure sensors.

The boffins reckon that bucky-gel elasto circuitry would be a tip-top replacement for today's rigid boards in many applications. It might be combined with flexible display and pressure-sensor tech to produce roll-up computers, TVs and so forth. Such equipment could be incorporated into clothing, for instance, producing truly wearable computing. Given that Reuters quotes Sekitani as saying that the kit would be excellent for use on "curved surfaces and movable parts", and the stuff already resembles stockings, it seems that the day of the long-sought interactive touchscreen tights - or at any rate, video stretchpants - may be at hand.

Marvellous what they can do nowadays, etc. ®

Bootnote

*As in Buckminster Fuller, the man behind the geodesic dome climbing frames once popular in playgrounds. Spherical carbon molecules are named "buckyballs", as they are thought to have the same kind of structure, and the whole class of mad molecules are called fullerenes, including the increasingly trendy nano-tubular ones.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.