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American Chemical Society Chemistry for Life - Metal ink could ease the way towards flexible electronic books/displays

DCN Corp® - A picture drawn with conductive ink lights up a green Light Emitting Diode (LED). Credit - American Chemical Society (ACS) Chemistry for LifePlease Note citable via "Synthesis and Self-assembly of large area Cu nanosheets and their application as an aqueous conductive ink on flexible electronics" - ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

Scientists have managed to develop a novel metal ink made from small sheets of Copper (Cu) which can be employed to write in functioning, flexible electric circuit on regular printing paper. The researchers study has reported a conductive ink, which could enable for a wide range of new devices such as bendable gadgets as electronic books that appear like traditional paperbacks. The researchers published their advances in the journal of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. [1]


Wenjun Dong, Ge Wang et al. note that the possibilities of the flexible electronics range from tablets that roll-up to wearable circuits woven into cloths, and that such applications have received a great deal of attention in the past decade. However, much of the progress in this wave of emerging technologies has involved making circuits using complicated, time consuming and expensive processes, which can potentially hinder their widespread use. Therefore, in response, the researchers, above, have been working toward a versatile conductive ink. Experiments have been conducted on several materials, for example, polymers and Gold (Au) and Silver (Ag) nanostructures. However, unfortunately, such materials have fallen short in one way or another, and so the research group have decided to try Cu nanosheets, which are known to be inexpensive and highly conductive akin to a flexible circuit ink.

The group synthesised Cu nanosheets coated with Ag nanoparticles (AgNP) and incorporated such a material into an ink pen, and subsequently the ink was used to draw patterns of lines, words and even flowers on regular printer paper. To demonstrate that the ink could conduct electricity, the scientists studded the drawings with small Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights that only lit up when the circuit was connected on to a battery. Furthermore, to test the ink's flexibility, the group folded the papers 1,000 times and even crumpling them to show that the ink maintained 80-90% of its conductivity. Original article available here

As with similar type of studies, the future potential of nanomaterials has been handsomely sold. As stated previously, DCN Corp strongly believes it can supersede by providing a dip controlling process. Going forward, if you and/or your colleagues are interested in making DCN Corp's alternative process reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.

[1] Dang, R., Song, L., Dong, W., Li, C., Zhang, X., Wang, G., and Chen, X. Synthesis and Self-assembly of large area Copper nanosheets and their application as an aqueous conductive ink on flexible electronics. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 6, 1,622-629 (2014)