Biodegradable Computer Chips Made Almost Entirely from Wood

By Ben Coxworth, Gizmag – As electronic devices are becoming outdated at an increasingly fast pace, e-waste continues to be a huge problem. That’s why scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have started producing “wooden” semiconductor chips that could almost entirely biodegrade once left in a landfill. As an added bonus, the chips are also flexible, making them prime candidates for use in flexible electronics. Although it would be neat to see a chip made from rich mahogany or knotty pine, the substrate of the UW-Madison chips is actually made of a translucent material known as Cellulose NanoFibrils (CNF) – it’s also called nanofibrillated cellulose. As outlined in a previous Gizmag article on CNF, the material is typically made by adding water to cellulose-containing materials (usually wood waste, as would be found at paper or lumber mills) then using high-pressure homogenizers, grinders or microfluidizers to rip the wood fibers...

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