ANU Scientists develop bendable biodegradable smart phones

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Thanks to Australian National University (ANU) scientists, smartphones can now be biodegradable.

A new invention which has been developed by the scientists of Australian National University (ANU) has paved the way for the production of more biodegradable smartphones. The scientists developed a thin, flexible semiconductor made from organic and inorganic materials which is capable of converting electricity into light.

This new development which would be eco-friendly will help reduce e-waste caused by unwanted electronic devices. For a country that produces 200,000 tonnes of e- waste every year, only about four percent of Australia’s e-waste is recycled.

Made from carbon and hydrogen, the organic component of the semiconductor is one atom thick while the inorganic part has the thickness of around two atoms. Lead senior researcher Associate Professor Larry Lu from the ANU Research School of Engineering said that the thin, flexible organic-inorganic hybrid structure will pave way for future technologies, such as bendable mobile phones and display screens.

“For the first time, we have developed an ultra-thin electronics component with excellent semiconducting properties that is an organic-inorganic hybrid structure and thin and flexible enough for future technologies, such as bendable mobile phones and display screen”. We characterized the optoelectronic and electrical properties of our invention to confirm the tremendous potential of it to be used as a future semiconductor component,”

Ankur Sharma, a PhD researcher said that experiments demonstrated from the performance of their semiconductor would be much more effective than conservative semiconductors made with inorganic materials such as silicon. “We have the potential with this semiconductor to make mobile phones as powerful as today’s supercomputers. The light emission from our semiconducting structure is very sharp, so it can be used for high-resolution displays and, since the materials are ultra-thin, they have the flexibility to be made into bendable screens and mobile phones in the near future.”

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