Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered being developed

Date:
April 4, 2014
Source:
Iowa State University
Summary:
An research team is developing "transient materials" and "transient electronics" that can quickly and completely melt away when a trigger is activated. That could mean that one day you could send out a signal to destroy a lost credit card, or when soldiers are wounded, their electronic devices could be remotely triggered to melt away, securing sensitive military information. The field of study is very new, but progress is being made.

Iowa State's Reza Montazami examines a degradable antenna capable of data transmission.
Credit: Bob Elbert

A medical device, once its job is done, could harmlessly melt away inside a person's body. Or, a military device could collect and send its data and then dissolve away, leaving no trace of an intelligence mission. Or, an environmental sensor could collect climate information, then wash away in the rain.

It's a new way of looking at electronics: "You don't expect your cell phone to dissolve someday, right?" said Reza Montazami, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering. "The resistors, capacitors and electronics, you don't expect everything to dissolve in such a manner that there's no trace of it."

But Montazami thinks it can happen and is developing the necessary materials.

He calls the technology "transient materials" or "transient electronics." The materials are special polymers designed to quickly and completely melt away when a trigger is activated. It's a fairly new field of study and Montazami says he's making progress.

The research team he's leading, for example, is developing degradable polymer composite materials that are suitable platforms for electronic components. The team has also built and tested a degradable antenna capable of data transmission.

The team presented some of its research results at the recent meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas.

And, a paper describing some of the team's work, "Study of Physically Transient Insulating Materials as a Potential Platform for Transient Electronics and Bioelectronics," has just been published online by the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The paper focuses on the precise control of the degradation rate of polymer composite materials developed for transient electronics.

Montazami is the lead senior author of the paper. Iowa State co-authors are Nastaran Hashemi, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Handan Acar and Simge Cinar, postdoctoral research associates in mechanical engineering; and Mahendra Thunga, a postdoctoral research associate in materials science and engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory. Michael Kessler, formerly of Iowa State and now professor and director of Washington State University's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in Pullman, is also a co-author.

The research has been supported by Montazami's startup funds from Iowa State. He's pursuing grants to support additional projects.

"Investigation of electronic devices based on transient materials (transient electronics) is a new and rarely addressed technology with paramount potentials in both medical and military applications," the researchers wrote in the paper.

To demonstrate that potential, Montazami played a video showing a blue light-emitting diode mounted on a clear polymer composite base with the electrical leads embedded inside. Add a drop of water and the base and wiring begin to melt away. Before long the light goes out and a second drop of water degrades what little is left.

The researchers have developed and tested transient resistors and capacitors. They're working on transient LED and transistor technology, said Montazami, who started the research as a way to connect his background in solid-state physics and materials science with applied work in mechanical engineering.

As the technology develops, Montazami sees more and more potential for the commercial application of transient materials.

Just think, he said, if you lose your credit card, you could send out a signal that causes the card to self-destruct. Or, sensors programmed to degrade over certain times and temperatures could be stored with food. When the sensors degrade and stop sending a signal, that food is no longer fresh. Or, when soldiers are wounded, their electronic devices could be remotely triggered to melt away, securing sensitive military information.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Handan Acar, Simge ınar, Mahendra Thunga, Michael R. Kessler, Nastaran Hashemi, Reza Montazami. Study of Physically Transient Insulating Materials as a Potential Platform for Transient Electronics and Bioelectronics. Advanced Functional Materials, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201304186

Cite This Page:

Iowa State University. "Materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered being developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140404085419.htm>.
Iowa State University. (2014, April 4). Materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered being developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140404085419.htm
Iowa State University. "Materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered being developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140404085419.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins