Chinese and American scientists develop a wet self-destructive electronic device

- Jun 02, 2018-

Is there still a headache for how to deal with waste electronic devices? Is it distressing to remove the implant because of a second operation? Scientists from China and the United States have recently designed a new type of transient electronic device that once touched the moisture in the air and triggers a "self-destruction" process and disappears, which is expected to help us solve these annoyances.


This work was jointly completed by Prof. Xu Hangxun of the University of Science and Technology of China and Yu Cunjiang, assistant professor of the University of Houston, USA. The participants also included Professor Feng Xue of Tsinghua University. The paper was published on the 1st issue of the US Journal of Scientific Progress.


Xu Hangxun told Xinhua News Agency reporters that the traditional electronic devices are usually very stable, but the transient electronic devices, on the contrary, after the completion of the specified function, can be degraded under the external stimulus, its physical form and function may be partially disappeared Or it disappears completely and has the characteristics of controllable life and less pollution to the environment.


The work of Xu Hangxun and others focuses on the preparation of a polymer substrate material with a humidity response, polyanhydride. When the polyanhydride encounters trace amounts of moisture in the air, it starts to hydrolyze. The corrosive organic acids produced by the hydrolysis process can dissolve the inorganic electronic materials in the device, resulting in degradation of the overall device.


More importantly, the rate of degradation can be regulated by adjusting the moisture content in the environment and changing the composition of the polyanhydride substrate. High moisture, rapid degradation; low moisture, slow degradation.


Xu Hangxun said: "The significance of our research is to develop a new transient trigger mechanism. In the past, transient processes occurred in aqueous solutions or biological fluids, and our transient electrons can trigger degradation by water molecules in the environment. The state degradation process is more controllable and can be adjusted from days to weeks or even longer."


In order to verify the feasibility of their design concepts, Xu Hangxun and others prepared several prototype transient electronic devices. At present, their devices are limited to the stage of concept display, and their performance and preparation methods still need to be improved. In the future, their devices are expected to have application prospects in implantable medical care, security and security electronic systems, disposable environmental sensors, and moisture detection devices. .