Wood-based chip could lead to biodegradable electronics
May 26, 2015 by CGP Staff
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory are developing a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood. Current portable electronics are typically made of non-renewable, non-biodegradable and potentially toxic materials, and they are being frequently discarded in the pursuit of the next best electronic gadget, leading to serious environmental contamination. The research team led by UW-Madison’s professor Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, described the new device in a paper demonstrating the feasibility of replacing the support layer of a computer chip, with cellulose nanofibril (CNF), a flexible, biodegradable material made from wood. The new chips “are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade it. They become as safe as fertilizer.” More on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s website.