URBANA, Ill.—Imagine this: There’s no need to throw out your old cellphone, because it will self-destruct.
That’s the idea behind a project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where researchers are investigating how to build electronics that vanish in water.
John Rogers is a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the university. Rogers says the goal of the “born to die” program is to design transient technology that can dissolve at the end of its useful life, thus saving space in landfills and reducing waste.
The research team isn’t there yet. But it has designed a chip built on a thin film of silk that dissolves when hit with water.
Watch this video about transient electronics: