E-Silk Makes Devices Literally More Flexible

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Rigid e-readers that are too big to fit comfortably in our pockets: Be gone. A Taiwanese professor at National Tsing Hua University and two of his post-grads have figured out how to use silk as a material in flexible e-book readers, LED displays and radio-frequency identification tools, according to PC World.

“We didn’t know at first that it would be the best material, but after a few months of tests we realized it was quite viable,” Hwang Jenn-Chang said to PC World. “No one else has thought to try this, or at least no one else has succeeded.”

The liquid silk, which comes from worms like the ones above, is spun into a membrane that can hold thin transistors and other bendable parts. Since the membranes allow electronic currents to pass through them, they can aid in the speed and performance of transistors within the device. The price for flexible technology? Just $0.03 per unit. Researchers from the university are already talking to manufacturers in the hopes of getting this material into the market.

Items like paper thin iPhone screens that normally crack with any semblance of pressure could benefit from having more give in them. Just think of how limber a newspaper is, and how nice it would be to fold up your e-reader and tuck it in your bag.

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