Research leads to a golden discovery for wearable technology

Research leads to a golden discovery for wearable technology

Some day, your smartphone might completely conform to your wrist, and when it does, it might be covered in pure gold, thanks to researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Writing in the March 17 issue of the journal Science, the Missouri S&T researchers say they have developed a way to “grow” thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials.

The research team’s discovery could revolutionize wearable or “flexible” technology research, greatly improving the versatility of such electronics in the future.

According to lead researcher Dr. Jay A. Switzer, the majority of research into wearable technology has been done using polymer substrates, or substrates made up of multiple crystals. “And then they put some typically organic semiconductor on there that ends up being flexible, but you lose the order that (silicon) has,” says Switzer, Donald L. Castleman/FCR Endowed Professor of Discovery in Chemistry at S&T.

Because the polymer substrates are made up of multiple crystals, they have what are called grain boundaries, says Switzer. These grain boundaries can greatly limit the performance of an electronic device.

“Say you’re making a solar cell or an LED,” he says. “In a semiconductor, you have electrons and you have holes, which are the opposite of electrons. They can combine at grain boundaries and give off heat. And then you end up losing the light that you get out of an LED, or the current or voltage that you might get out of a solar cell.”



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Coins thrown into plane engine by elderly passenger for 'luck'

Coins thrown into plane engine by elderly passenger for 'luck'..

27-Jun, 16:36

A superstitious elderly passenger delayed a flight in Shanghai after...

Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond dies

Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond dies..

28-Jun, 08:43

Michael Bond, the creator of beloved children's character Paddington...

India Mumbai blasts convict dies of heart attack

India Mumbai blasts convict dies of heart attack..

28-Jun, 07:42

A man convicted of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts has died of a...

Queen's Speech: Labour to force vote on public pay cap

Queen's Speech: Labour to force vote on public pay cap..

28-Jun, 02:54

Pay rises for five million public sector workers have effectively been...

Trump's gyrations on NAFTA cause a flurry of head-scratching

Trump's gyrations on NAFTA cause a flurry of head-scratching..

27-Apr, 18:48

President Donald Trump campaigned on an "America First" trade policy of...

North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt

North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt..

05-May, 08:16

North Korea on Friday accused the U.S. and South Korean spy agencies of...

FBI deflects House Oversight Committee's request for documents

FBI deflects House Oversight Committee's request for documents..

25-May, 17:08

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is renewing...

Fitbit tracks your steps; now it wants to chart your Zs, too

Fitbit tracks your steps; now it wants to chart your Zs, too..

06-Mar, 09:05

Fitbit, whose devices encourage people to walk 10,000 steps each day, now...