Watch this Breakthrough Tech

Xerox has developed a silver-based conductive ink that can be printed on everything from plastics to textiles. The ink’s melting temperature of 140 degrees Celsius is low enough to allow printing on plastics. Instead of expensive fabrication facilities, specialized inkjet printers will be able to print circuits that could be used as part of flexible signage, radio frequency identifier tags and even novelty clothing.

Beyond logic circuits, energy storage devices will be printable as well. Two years ago, chemists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., were able to place a thin film of cellulose over a surface of carbon nanotubes. This breakthrough will enable paper and CNT-based batteries. Stanford researchers have been able to take a paper substrate and coat it with ink made of silver and carbon nanotubes to create working ‘paper batteries.’

Paper-based batteries charge and discharge quickly, making them suitable for a wide variety of technologies. Together, these breakthroughs herald an era of ultra-cheap, easily manufactured energy storage…

New nanotech-scale manufacturing and materials technologies in the semiconductor industry are going to power a revolution in how we make electronic devices, power our homes and collect and analyze information. Right now, the vast majority of people have no idea how profound these changes are going to be.