Researches from Microsoft Research, the University of Tokyo and Georgia Tech have successfully developed a system that lets them print fully-functional electrical circuits using nothing more than "commodity inkjet printers and off-the-shelf materials" at the nimble cost of $300 and the 60 seconds it takes to print them.
Recent advances in chemically bonding metal particles allowed the researchers to use silver nanoparticle ink to print the circuits and avoid thermal bonding, or sintering, a time-consuming and potentially damaging technique due to the heat. Printing the circuits on resin-coated paper, PET film and glossy photo paper worked best. Researchers also made a list of materials to avoid, such as canvas cloths and magnet sheets.
Everything we introduced in our research is available in the market and makes it possible for people to try this at home, said Yoshihiro Kawahara, Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo and the primary investigator who developed the methodology while in Atlanta. The method can be used to print circuit boards, sensors and antennas with little cost, and it opens up many new opportunities.
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