Research NewsMaterials Science

Patterning Electronics on the Cheap

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Science  17 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5337, pp. 383-384
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5337.383

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The reigning way to carve microcircuitry, photolithography, is ill-suited to low-end chips and displays. Tomorrow's throwaway electronics may be stamped, sprayed, or screen printed. The new techniques are getting so good that it's becoming realistic to think about using them commercially to create simple electronic devices such as throwaway plastic "smart" cards and data-packed check-out labels, and down the road, researchers also expect that the new techniques could improve enough to meet demanding patterning applications, such as making large flat-screen displays.