Cellulose paper is a staple in our daily lives. This flexible and versatile material has many simple applications, but using paper as a substrate for portable electronics is attracting increasing interest.
In their review in Advanced Materials, Prof. Jinghua Yu, Prof. Hong Liu, and colleagues from the University of Jinan discuss the recent progress and challenges in using micro/nanostructured paper for portable electronics.
What are the major benefits of paper-based electronics?
Dr. Lina Zhang: “Cellulose paper has the intrinsic advantages of being renewable, biodegradable, and biocompatible. It can be easily disposed of by incineration, freeing up space in electronic waste disposals. The structure of cellulose allows for liquids to flow via capillary action, which is particularly important for microfluidic applications. Moreover, the paper properties can be customized to meet individual demands.”
How is the functional paper manufactured?
“Various physical techniques, the simplest of which are inkjet printing or drawing via pen or pencil on paper, can be used. Two chemical techniques, in situ seed growth and polymerization, can further adjust the functionality of the paper.”
What is the most promising application for paper-based electronics?
“The possibilities range from functional packaging and identification tags to energy storage devices, such as batteries. Nanocellulose paper folds like conventional paper and is interesting for optoelectronics applications.”
To find out more about paper-based electronics, please visit the Advanced Materials homepage.