Feeds

Chemists create current-bearing plastic

Polymer breakthrough points way to cheaper PCs

The next step in data security

Chemists have found a new way of producing plastic that conducts electricity, potentially paving the way to cheaper, more robust and er, more plasticky computers.

Polymer electronics isn't new, and the printed electronics business is reckoned to be worth around $2bn, although not all the printing goes onto polymers. But with all the attention lavished upon nanotubes, the more mundane research breakthroughs can be overlooked.

A team led by Professors Paul Meredith and Ben Powell at the University of Queensland, Associate Professor Adam Micolich of the University of New South Wales School of Physics and UNSW doctoral student Andrew Stephenson used an ion beam to "tune" the plastic film.

"In theory, we can make plastics that conduct no electricity at all or as well as metals do – and everything in between," says Stephenson.

Meredith leads the Soft Condensed Matter Physics Group at Queensland, where a variety of interesting research looks to provide plastics instead of traditional (and costly) semiconductors - as well as electronics from organic materials.

Plastic components are already used being in situations where conventional components may fail: Boeing's 747-8 has a printed bird strike detector, for example.

More from UNSW via PhysOrg here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.