‘Transient’ devices from silk, silicon and magnesium

Beckman Institute, University of Illinois and Tufts University

A cross-disciplinary collaboration between Fiorenzo Omenetto, a biomedical engineer at Tufts University, Medford, MA, and John Rogers, a materials scientist at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, has yielded tiny new electronic devices that completely dissolve when they are no longer needed (Science 337, 1640–1644; 2012). These ‘physically transient’ electronics are built from silicon, the preferred semiconductor, like other devices, but the silicon membranes in the transient devices are less than 100 nm thick. They are coated in silk packaging, processed from silkworm cocoons into thin, flexible films.

Lab Anim. (NY) 41, 299 (2012).
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