Cornell and Yale University engineers have developed a new kind of electrical interface that could be more flexible than conventional designs.
The Cornell University engineering department announced Wednesday the team’s research in the Journal of Applied Materials and Interfaces.
The new type of electrical circuit, called a “electrochemical-organic interface,” is designed to integrate electronic devices and conductive materials.
It is made of a polymer, silicon oxide and carbon nanotubes.
It is also lighter and less expensive than traditional copper-based electronic devices, the department said in a news release.
“This is a huge step in the development of new materials that have applications for applications such as smart phones, smart lighting and smart clothing,” said Eric Lidak, the director of the electrical engineering department.
“The idea is to make these devices that are a little bit smaller and lighter than copper and have much greater electrical performance.”
The researchers said they have already demonstrated the potential of this type of interface, which has applications for both medical devices and the energy sector.
Lidak noted that the device is only 10 percent as dense as conventional copper-organic interfaces.
But the new device has other advantages.
The device has a lower power consumption and energy density than other electrochemical- organic interfaces because it has a higher surface area, which can be used to build up more conductive layers in the electronics.
In addition, the researchers said, the interface is lighter and more flexible because it uses the surface area of an organic material rather than copper.
The research team also has shown that it can generate electricity with a simple electrical charge.
Researchers say they plan to develop a more flexible version of the new interface, and the work could lead to new kinds of electrical devices.
“It could be used for devices that interact with light and sound, which are both devices that use electronic components, and it could be useful for those kinds of applications,” said Robert E. Jernigan, the assistant director of Cornell’s Electrical Engineering Department and a co-author of the Journal article.
He added that the researchers are still working on developing their next step, but said it is a promising development.
“If it does work, it would be a significant step toward more flexible, more flexible devices that have very flexible electronics that could even be used in other industries,” he said.