Suddenly, office paper is turning heads. Well, at least as far as electronics and batteries are concerned.
The explosive growth of miniaturized electronics and batteries to power everything from ingestible healthcare devices to sensors for intelligent transportation is driving innovation in how those devices are designed, and raising concerns over their environmental impact.
By some estimates, more than 50 billion electronic devices may be deployed during the next five years. Many will have a short working life, their fast obsolescence resulting in a disposal issue.
Enter papertronics, which offer electronics engineers the benefits of flexibility, sustainability, eco-friendliness, and low cost, as well as useful mechanical, dielectrical, and fluidic properties.
Seokheun Choi, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the State University of New York at Binghampton, and his colleagues have created a paper-based, single-use battery that relies on bacteria both to generate an electric current and also to devour the battery at the end of its useful life.