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 NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate
18.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Physicists found a correlation between the structure and magnetic properties of ceramics
18.12.2018 | Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

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: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists found a correlation between the structure and magnetic properties of ceramics

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Unique insights into an exotic matter state

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Physicists studied the influence of magnetic field on thin film structures

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>