Simon Fraser's University and Swiss Researchers are developing an environmentally-friendly 3D print solution for producing IoT wireless sensors that can be used and destroyed without polluting the environment. Their research was published as a cover in the February issue of the magazine Advanced electronic materials,
Professor SFU Woo Soo Kim leads the discovery of the research team, including the use of cellulosic wood material to replace plastics and polymer materials currently used in electronics.
Additionally, 3D printing can provide flexibility to add or embed features in 3D shapes or textiles, creating more functionality.
"Our environmentally-friendly 3D printed cellulose sensors can wirelessly transmit data during their lives, and then they can be ejected without environmental pollution," says Kim, a professor at the Surrey University School of Mechatronic Systems. Surveys are being conducted at PowerTech labs in Surrey where several modern 3D printers are used by researchers.
"If we are able to replace plastics in PCBs with cellulosic composites, the recycling of metallic components on board can be harvested in a much easier way. "
The Kim's Research Program covers two international collaborative projects, including the latest focus on environmental-friendly chemical sensors based on cellulosic materials with collaborators from the Swiss Federal Lab for Material Science.
He also co-operated with a team of South Korean scientists from Daegu Gongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, and PROTEM Co Inc., a technology-based company, to develop materials for printed conductive inks.
In this second project, researchers have developed a new breakthrough in embossing technology that can freely print fine patterns on a flexible polymer base, a necessary component of electronic products.
Stamping technology is applied for mass printing of accurate models at low cost. However, Kim says he can only print circuit sketches that have been pre-printed on the model's stamp, and the whole, expensive printing needs to be changed to fit into different models.
The team has managed to develop an accurate location control system that can directly print the models, resulting in new process technology. This will have widespread repercussions for use in semiconductor processes, load-carrying devices and the display industry.
Earlier this year, Kim was elected a member of the Brain Pool of Korea's National Research Foundation (NRF). A 3D print electronics expert who heads the SFU's ad-hoc editing lab, Kim spent six months working with researchers at the National University of Seoul to design thin-film transistors using 3D printing technology.
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Materials provided by Simon Frazer University, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.