Engineers at Duke University Produce the First Fully-Recyclable Electronic Transistor in the World

A fully-recyclable electronic transistor manufactured by engineers at Duke University, this is said to be the first in…
fully-recyclable electronic transistor

A fully-recyclable electronic transistor manufactured by engineers at Duke University, this is said to be the first in the world. This transistor features a recycling process that regains about 100 percent of the materials utilized and conserves a large percent of their abilities for reuse. The engineers at Duke University hope to achieve a new generation where electronics are recycled.

According to one Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at Duke, Aaron Franklin, silicon-based computer parts might not go away and scientists don’t expect that recyclable electronics will easily replace the devices and technology that are commonly used. However, they hope that this new technology can become widely used when they create fully-recyclable and easy-to-print electronics.

Although the increasing numbers of electronics  disposed of are declining, the UN estimated that less than 25% of these electronics are recycled every year. The big problem is that it is difficult to recycle electronic devices. While other parts made of steel, aluminum, and copper are recyclable, the silicon chips that take a large part of the device cannot be recycled.

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Franklin and other scientists reveal a fully-recyclable electronic transistor made of carbon-based inks that can be printed on friendly surfaces like paper. Carbon nanotubes make up the semiconductors while graphene inks are used for the conductors. Frank maintained that the build-out of a dielectric ink known as nanocellulose opened the path to recyclability.

Nanocellulose is biodegradable and has been used in applications like packaging for years. And while people have long known about its potential applications as an insulator in electronics, nobody has ever figured out how to use it in a printable ink before. That’s one of the keys to making these fully recyclable devices functional.

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