The mass production of electronic devices has a number of serious negative consequences for our civilization. A huge amount of valuable natural resources are consumed, some of which are turned into waste. In addition, every year tens of millions of used devices end up in landfills that litter our planet. A big problem is that these devices are based on highly purified silicon, which does not decompose in nature.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have proposed using biodegradable thin-film transistors from a flexible, transparent substrate made of wood cellulose - nanofibrillated fiber as an alternative to silicon. This development could set the stage for an entire direction in the field of materials science - the creation of "green", low-cost handheld devices.
“We found, ” says Cheng Yang Ma, head of the university's research team, “that the fibers we created have the highest performance, just like traditional silicon transistors. Moreover, from a biological point of view, they are absolutely safe. For example, once in a forest, bacteria will soon turn them into fertilizers. "