Researchers create biodegradable chip made from wood

Posted on Wednesday, May 27 2015 @ 16:46 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison collaborated with the Madison-based U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) to create a new type of semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood-based material. The cellulose nanofibril (CNF) computer chip is biodegradable, it's a flexible, transparent material and reportedly cheaper to manufacture than traditional semiconductors.

The creators claim these chips are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade it, making them as safe as fertilizer. Full details over here.
"The majority of material in a chip is support. We only use less than a couple of micrometers for everything else," Ma says. "Now the chips are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade it. They become as safe as fertilizer."

"If you take a big tree and cut it down to the individual fiber, the most common product is paper. The dimension of the fiber is in the micron stage," Cai says. "But what if we could break it down further to the nano scale? At that scale you can make this material, very strong and transparent CNF paper."

"You don't want it to expand or shrink too much. Wood is a natural hydroscopic material and could attract moisture from the air and expand," Cai says. "With an epoxy coating on the surface of the CNF, we solved both the surface smoothness and the moisture barrier."
cellulose nanofibril chip

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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