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Researchers Turn To Silk For Flexible E-Devices

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the driving-up-lingerie-prices-worldwide dept.

Biotech 35

angry tapir writes "Researchers at a Taiwan university say they have found a way to use silk membranes in flexible electronic devices and started talks with manufacturers about adopting the unusual but cheap material. After less than two years of study motivated by news that silk had untapped properties, an engineering professor and two post-graduate students at Taiwan's National Tsing Hua University figured out how to use the soft, low-cost material for flexible e-book readers, LED displays and radio-frequency identification tools."

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Can't wait (4, Funny)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377776)

I can see it now: my wife comes home from shopping, telling me "Hi, Honey, I just got something made of silk and I'm about to the bedroom and get into it. I bull rush in there and find her on the bed reading some trashy novel. Meh!

Re:Can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35380960)

You aren't married, are you? it never even looks close to that... you really don't want to know what your wife bought...

Re:Can't wait (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35381644)

I new this was completely fictional when he wrote "my wife"...

Re:Can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35382676)

You must be knew here.

Re:Can't wait (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35382744)

The '' on my neeboard doesn't work, you insensitive clod!

Re:Can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35381782)

Meh!

"Meh" can't be used as an exclamatory whine - have some class!

Re:Can't wait (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386228)

Well then... Bah! My good ol' stand-by..

This is good (1)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377796)

I hope this will allow us to integrate electronics into the clothes in a better way. It's also in accordance with the FOTM sustainable development since it's all natural and probably bio-degradable. Hope they get a lot of $$$ to continue their research in the area.

babys; better days ahead? unextinct us rally soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35377812)

another re-listing of the intentions thus far, as almost no one seems to care. they may be missing the part about the inevitability that accompanies pure intentions. it's like upgrading from dying to living. ??

see you at the multitudinous million baby play-dates being scheduled world wide. be there, or be scared?

our intentions for US/you;

1. DEWEAPONIZATION (not a real word, but they like it) almost nothing else good happens until some progress here, 'they' say.

2. ALL BABYS CREATED/TO BE TREATED, EQUALLY. (a rough interpretation (probably cost us. seems like a no-brainer but they expressed that we fail on that one too(:)->) 'we do not need any 300$ 'strollers', or even to ride in your smelly cars/planes etc..., until such time as ALL of the creators' innocents have at least food, shelter, & some loving folks nearby.' again, this is a dealbreaker, so pay attention.

3. THOU SHALT NOT VACCINATE IRRESPONSIBLY. this appears to be a stop-gap intention.

the genuine feelings expressed included; in addition to the lack of acknowledgment of the advances/evolution of our tiny bodies/dna (including consciousness & intellect), almost nobody knows anymore what's in those things (vaccines) (or they'd tell us), & there's rumor much of it is less than good (possibly fatal) for ANY of us. if it were good for us we'd be gravitating towards it, instead of it being shoved in our little veins, wrecking them, & adversely affecting our improving immune systems/dna/development? at rite-aid, they give the mommies 100$ if they let them stick their babys with whoknowswhat? i can see why they're (the little ones) extremely suspicious? many, oddly? have strong inclinations to want to grow up to be reporters of nefarious life threatening processes/'conspiracies', as they sincerely believe that's 'stuff that REALLY matters', but they KNOW that things are going to be out in the open soon, so they intend to put their acute/astute senses/information gathering abilities to the care & feeding of their fellow humans. no secrets to cover up with that goal.

do the math. check out YOUR dna/potential. thanks again.

babys; we're vast majority & have perfect karm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378142)

score(:-)- mynutswon, diss them babys.
honestly? phewww

Static (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35377838)

Wait.. doesn't silk cause a lot of static electricity?

Re:Static (2)

sgbett (739519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377918)

self powered too?! its the future!

Velvet (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377950)

But what about velvet? Velvet is often made from silk.

When will I be able to ensconce myself in velvet e-devices?

Re:Velvet (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377986)

As soon as we handle the inherent ESD issue involved with such a material, I'd wager.

Re:Velvet (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378502)

As soon as we handle the inherent ESD issue...

Or learn to harness its energy potential!

Just think, for the small price of wearing special underwear, you would never need another battery! Nevermind that the static built up in the underwear would significantly reduce your sperm count...

Re:Velvet (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378058)

Velvet Hmmm - I want to dress up like a techno fop too. I'd be a digital dandy in the latest High tech hosiery. I be the talk of the town and all of the there Lundon will adore me.

Re:Velvet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378562)

They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he's got to buy the best,
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

And when he does his little rounds,
'Round the boutiques of London Town,
Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
There's one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
One week he's in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
In Regent Street and Leicester Square.
Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on,
Each one an dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
His world is built 'round discoteques and parties.
This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.
He's a dedicated follower of fashion.
He's a dedicated follower of fashion.

              - Raymond Douglas "Ray" Davies

Re:Velvet (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35379490)

That's desperate, but not serious mate.

Re:Velvet (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378226)

George? Is that you?

Solid slurm ? (2)

psergiu (67614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35377984)

So the future of e-book readers is a substance squeezed from the behind of a mulberry leaf-eating worm ? :-)

Re:Solid slurm ? (3, Funny)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378026)

Yeah, and as such, I had always been under the impression that silk was NOT a low cost product, based on the time and effort required to harvest it, and form it unto a usable sized piece of cloth.

Re:Solid slurm ? (5, Informative)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378038)

they start with something called Liquid Silk. Try doing a google search for that ...

Re:Solid slurm ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378134)

Damn it! Just got trolled into looking at anal lube while at work. Curse you Dr. Tom.

Re:Solid slurm ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378280)

Silk work silk is made of two proteins. sericin (basically a glue, water soluable) and Fibroin. To make "liquid silk" you just boil the cocoons to get rid of the sericin and then dissolve the fibroin in lithium salts or maybe CaCl?
Refs:
(http://www.silk-protein.com/silk-sericin.html)
Tissue engineering and silk:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737252/?tool=pubmed

Re:Solid slurm ? (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378216)

"Silk, a natural protein fiber normally used in textiles, can be easily purchased on the island. The material would cost about NT$10 (about US$0.03) per device."

Re:Solid slurm ? (2)

shawb (16347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378262)

Depends on your definition of low cost. If you are comparing it to cotton, then it's moderately pricey. If you are comparing it to carbon nanotubes... then it's an outright bargain.

Re:Solid slurm ? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35379136)

Depends on what you compare it it. A 100mm (roughly 4 inch) wafer of pure silicon could cost as much as $500 in single quantities for certain grades. That's certainly far more expensive than raw silk, although one must consider the cost of preparing the raw silk to be suitable for use in electronics.That's bound to be expensive in small quantities, but reduce itself greatly as the scale of the process increases.

Re:Solid slurm ? (1)

Kyont (145761) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378926)

So the future of e-book readers is a substance squeezed from the behind of a mulberry leaf-eating worm ? :-)

Yes, but enough about Michael Crichton's latest...

Yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378030)

Non-vegan computing!

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378102)

Would that be storage of bits via exploded and unexploded cows?

ow my eyes (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35378120)

Anyone else read this as "Researchers Turned to Silk" like some kind of fabricy medusa?

Frank Herbert would approve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35378156)

of worms becoming the most important creatures to our technological advancement.

I want my GLOBAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35379916)

one step closer, maybe?

The skeptic's take... (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35382984)

I just completed reading the article (the scholarly one in the Advanced Materials journal, not TFA) and I can't say it's *that* impressive. They do report a very high mobility value for pentacene (~23 cm2/Vs) allegedly because of very low trapping density at the semiconductor/dielectric interface. That part is nice. But silk as a dielectric...is not impressive. They report a capacitance in the nano F/cm2, whereas everybody using electrolytes as OTFT dielectrics report capacitances in micro F/cm2. And the speed of polarization is similar. Electrolyte-gated OTFTs use a double-layer (EDLC) to create a "supercapacitor" and can therefore be operated at lower voltages than the ones reported in this work. This is not /. worthy. If it was, the paper would be in Nature or Science, not Advanced Materials.
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