Scientists create roller ball pen that can be used to sketch functioning circuit boards, even on a folded piece of paper.
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois have created a pen with conductive silver ink that can be used to draw electrical circuits on paper, wood and other materials. Although similar pens are already available, the difference here is that the ink is bendable when dry, meaning that even if the paper is folded or bent, the circuit will still function normally. Dr. Jennifer Lewis, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University, commented that:
The ink that we made has the same type of flow behaviour as normal ink in a pen, except that we’ve added functionality to the ink. Our pen can write on paper and different other surfaces, not just the conventional circuit boards, so it’s much more flexible.
The researchers have also been able to add components to their hand-drawn circuits, including a flexible LED display, three-dimensional radio-frequency antennas and a battery.