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Scientists are reportedly working on a novel metal ink that could be incorporated into a number of bendable gadgets such as e-books that would look and feel more like the traditional paperbacks.
The metal ink has been developed from small sheets of copper that can be used to write a functioning, flexible electric circuit on regular printer paper.
The scientists' report on the conductive ink has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Scientist Wenjun Dong, Ge Wang and colleagues noted that the tantalizing possibilities of flexible electronics have attracted a lot of attention in the past decade but making circuits for such products requires expensive and time-consuming processes.
The scientists decided to try copper nanosheets, which are inexpensive and highly conductive, as a flexible circuit ink and made sheets coated with silver nanoparticles in the laboratory and incorporated this material into an ink pen, using it to draw patterns of lines, words and even flowers on regular printer paper.
In the ink's flexibility test, it was found that even after folding the papers 1,000 times, and crumpling them up, the ink maintained 80 to 90 percent of its conductivity.