Nanocelulose as carrier material
US researchers from Wisconsin have developed a computer chip of nanocelulose.
It is a biodegradable alternative to conventional chips, which consist of more than 90 percent of non-organic carrier material.
However, production is still too expensive.
Whether they are used in smartphones or laptops, computer chips consist largely of carrier material, on which the conductive metals and semimetals are glued.
So far, this carrier material is usually an oil based plastic which is not biodegradable.
In order to make the semiconductor industry more environmentally friendly with its rapid production speed, researchers have now presented an ecological alternative.
In the scientific journal Nature Communications, the scientists from the US state of Wisconsin are explaining their idea of using cellulose nanofibril for the carrier material, a material which is known under the abbreviation CNF and is ultimately nothing more than paper in modified form.
Wood is decomposed into even finer fibers than those used for paper production. Finally, CNF is manufactured from the nano-crushed wood transparent, flexible and 100% biodegradable.
Initial problem: wood absorbs moisture
As CNF involves the electrical properties of a semiconductor, the researchers saw an important prerequisite for use in chips.
However, the scientists were still struggling with obstacles: wood absorbs moisture, and a change in shape of the biological carrier material would therefore be expected.
In order to prevent unwanted penetration of moisture, the researchers worked for a while, then finally found a thin layer of synthetic resin as an ideal sealing solution.
Team leader and IT engineer Zhengiang Ma explains the unequal quantity ratio of carrier material and the actual chip: “The largest part of a chip is used by the carrier material.
“Due to the replacement of oil-based carrier material by CNF,also known as nanocelulose, chips would no longer have to be disposed of in an elaborate manner.” The chips are now so safe that they are simply to be thrown into the forest, Fungi. They become as safe as natural fertilizer. ”
Woodchips still too expensive
Yei Hwan Jung, co-author of the study, says that it would take time for the industry to accept CNF as a carrier material for chips.
The reason for this is in the price: Although the production of CNF is already favorable now, due to the large numbers, the current, non-environmentally friendly solutions undercut nanocelulose under price