With this new technique, it is possible to place printable circuits on any surface, be it fabric, but also plastic or even food.
Electronics continues to evolve and we are already seeing advances in the printing of electronic circuits, some components that we can already see them even on any surface, license plate or even in clothing, and that could take a step forward with this new technique.
And it is that although currently most of these electronic circuits in the market they are printing on solid bases, the truth is that the future points to flexible elements, and for this these components must adapt to this type of plate that may be present in our clothes.
This has led researchers to have more interest in circuits of liquid metal, and for this they are putting in the running to manufacture circuits and print them with a 3D printer or modified inkjet, methods that until now have been quite expensive.
So to make this manufacturing process faster and cheaper, researchers They have developed a method of creating liquid metal circuits using a desktop laser printer capable of affixing electronics to many types of surfaces, not just fabric.
Researchers from the Tianjin University have developed a technique to place printable circuits on any fabric, but also plastic or even fruit.
That’s how they got it
To do so, they printed a connected design on thermal transfer paper with an ordinary laser printer.
This printer then deposited a carbon-based toner that was transferred to a glass panel by heating it. These toner patterns roughened the surface and could create a hydrophobic air gap between the carbon and liquid metal.
Thus they managed to glue the printable circuit directly to the smooth surface, like a plastic soda bottle, a ukulele and even teacups.
If the surface was too uneven, like the rough skin of an orange, this device was placed first on a piece of flexible plastic and then on the rougher surface.
After the experiment, they showed that all the electronic components worked perfectly from image viewing to RFID tagging, temperature detection and sound.
If this technique prospers and becomes more accessible, it could allow electronic circuits to adapt to any type of surface.