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Current issue

ELEKTRO 8-9/2018 was released on September 4th 2018. Its digital version will be available immediately.

Topic: Electrical engineering in industry; 60th International Engineering Fair in Brno

Main Article
Smart Cities (part 3 – volume 2)

SVĚTLO (Light) 5/2018 was released on September 17th 2018. Its digital version will be available immediately.

Interiors lighting
Luminaire selection by the concept of interior
The unique book about interiors nowadays on market
Invitation on colloquium Interiéry 2018 – exceptional action for the seventh time

Newsreel
Profesor Jiří Habel passed away – memories remain

Electronic devices that can degrade and physically disappear on demand

04.09.2017 | TechXplore | www.techxplore.com

A team of researchers from the U.S. and China has demonstrated electronic devices that can degrade and disappear on demand using nothing but moisture in the air. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the team describes their devices and offers ideas on applications that could benefit from them.

Most people know that electronic devices do not work particularly well in humid conditions—if your house is humid all the time, your desktop computer will not last very long, for example. This is because parts of the electronics fall prey to oxidation. In this new effort, the researchers took this knowledge to the extreme by building electronic devices from materials that degrade much faster than normal under humid conditions—so fast that the devices can actually disappear. They rely on a slightly different process—hydrolysis, which works due to the activation of corrosive acids in the materials used.

Degradeable electronics

Researchers have previously made other such devices, known collectively as transient electronics, but they only operated in aqueous solutions and were degraded by water molecules. To achieve roughly the same effect, the researchers searched for and found a material that is already known to degrade in humid environments—the polymer polyanhydride. The team integrated the polymer with electronic components by applying it in thin films.

¨Read more at TechXplore

Image Credit: Gao et al., Sci. Adv. 2017

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