Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electronics You Can Wrap Around Your Finger

11.02.2015

A new multiferroric film keeps its electric and magnetic properties even when highly curved, paving the way for potential uses in wearable devices

Electronic devices have shrunk rapidly in the past decades, but most remain as stiff as the same sort of devices were in the 1950s -- a drawback if you want to wrap your phone around your wrist when you go for a jog or fold your computer to fit in a pocket.


YoungPak Lee/ Hanyang University

This electron microscope image shows tiny nanoparticles of bismuth ferrite embedded in a polymer film. The film enhances the unique electric and magnetic properties of bismuth ferrite and preserves these properties even when bent.

Researchers from South Korea have taken a new step toward more bendable devices by manufacturing a thin film that keeps its useful electric and magnetic properties even when highly curved. The researchers describe the film in a paper published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing.

Flexible electronics have been hard to manufacture because many materials with useful electronic properties tend to be rigid. Researchers have addressed this problem by taking tiny bits of materials like silicon and embedding them in flexible plastics.

A team of physicists and engineers from South Korea took the same approach with bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) -- one of the most promising materials whose electronic properties can be controlled by a magnetic field, and vice versa. Such materials are called multiferroics and attract interest for applications like energy efficient, instant-on computing.

The researchers synthesized nanoparticles of bismuth ferrite and mixed them into a polymer solution. The solution was dried in a series of steps at increasing temperatures to produce a thin, flexible film.

When the researchers tested the electric and magnetic properties of the film they found that their new material did much more than preserve the useful properties of bulk bismuth ferrite -- it actually made them better. And the improved properties remained even as the film was curved into a cylindrical shape.

"Bulk bismuth ferrite has crucial problems for some applications, such as a high leakage current which hinders the strong electric properties," said YoungPak Lee, a professor at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Mixing nanoparticles of bismuth ferrite into a polymer improved the current-leakage problem, he said, and also gave the film flexible, stretchable properties.

Flexible multiferrorics could enable new wearable devices such as health monitoring equipment or virtual reality attire, Lee said. The multiferroric materials could be used in high-density, energy efficient memory and switches in such devices, he said.

Before the new films make their debut in wearable tech, the researchers are working to further improve their multiferroic properties, as well as exploring even more flexible materials.

The article, "Multiferroic properties of stretchable BiFeO3 nano-composite film," is authored by J.S. Hwang, J.Y. Cho, S.Y. Park, Y.J Yoo, P.S. Yoo, B.W. Lee and Y.P. Lee. It will be published in the journal Applied Physics Letters on February 10, 2015 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4907220). After that date, it can be accessed at: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/106/6/10.1063/1.4907220

The authors of this paper are affiliated with Hanyang University, Seoul National University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL
Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See: http://apl.aip.org

Contact Information
Jason Socrates Bardi
American Institute of Physics
jbardi@aip.org

240-535-4954

@jasonbardi

Jason Socrates Bardi | newswise

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Speed data for the brain’s navigation system

06.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization

06.12.2016 | Life Sciences

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>