Nanotechnologies and printed electronics

Smaller and more powerful than ever

By Claire Marchand

Not a month goes by without new technological developments and new applications in the fields of nanotechnologies and printed electronics.

Prototype microfibre nanogenerator: two fibres rub together to produce a small electrical current. Many pairs of these fibers could be woven into a garment to produce a "power shirt" (Photo: Georgia Tech / Gary Meek)
Prototype microfibre nanogenerator: two fibres rub together to produce a small electrical current. Many pairs of these fibers could be woven into a garment to produce a "power shirt" (Photo: Georgia Tech / Gary Meek)

Nanotech has been a buzz-word for quite some time. The general public often associates nanotechnology with new types of materials and substances and their potential related health impacts. What is less known is that the term also applies to a wide variety of electrotechnical applications from semiconductors, nano-composites, nano-electrodes to microfabrication and organic and printed electronics. The definition reflects a general trend to miniaturization. Some of the less obvious applications where nanotechnology promises to be the key to success include light and energy generation according to the findings of a study commissioned by the IEC. The August/September issue looks at how IEC covers the standardization needs of the nanotech industry for all electrical and electronic products and systems.  

It also focuses on how printed electronics are revolutionizing the manufacturing and range of applications of electronics and how the IEC is supporting this trend.  The technology has opened a vast array of new applications from flexible displays to lighting, textiles, batteries, sensors and more. Their light weight and flexibility makes them also ideal for aerospace and medical applications as well as packaging materials and even interactive posters.

Gallery
Prototype microfibre nanogenerator: two fibres rub together to produce a small electrical current. Many pairs of these fibers could be woven into a garment to produce a "power shirt" (Photo: Georgia Tech / Gary Meek) Prototype microfibre nanogenerator: two fibres rub together to produce a small electrical current. Many pairs of these fibers could be woven into a garment to produce a "power shirt" (Photo: Georgia Tech / Gary Meek)
OLED rear lights for cars (Photo: Philips Lumiblade) OLED rear lights for cars (Photo: Philips Lumiblade)
claire_marchand Claire Marchand, Managing Editor e-tech