A new way of self-destructing electronics: liquidation upon cooling

The current versions of self-destructive chips need some kind of trigger, an external influence to start a destructive process, and under normal conditions they remain stable. Professor Leon Bellan from Vanderbilt University suggests doing the opposite - his development exists only at the temperature of the human body and falls into pieces outside of it.

Bellan belongs to a caste of scientists who are working on advanced implants for living organisms. They desperately need devices that, after completing a task inside the body, do not need to be removed surgically - they simply disintegrate into non-hazardous components. The second interest group includes the military and intelligence agencies, who want to conduct reconnaissance and avoid the risk of important technologies falling into the hands of the enemy.

The professor has developed a special polymer that remains stable at temperatures above 32 ºC and can be used to make a kind of frame, base. Next, we insert a silver nanowire inside and get a primitive electrical circuit. While the polymer and wire are lying in a saucepan on a warm tile, a current flows through the network and a tiny light bulb glows. Turning off the tile - the polymer turns into slime and the wire structure crumbles.

“We can make an RFID tag that will only exist as long as a person is alive and his body is warm. He died and cooled down - everything disappeared, ”Bellan argues. Or make some simple medical device, a temporary blood sugar or pressure controller, or something. It is located under the skin and works while the doctor needs to take data, and then we simply apply ice and the machine is destroyed. More comfortable than clinging sensors or taking tests.

Temperature is just one factor in creating self-destructing electronics, anything can be the key. In theory. And this opens up an incredible potential for creating the most complex and interesting cascades, on the basis of which the most fantastic scenarios can be realized! We are at the very beginning of an amazing journey.