Existing flexible circuit printing technologies have two major limitations: they require the use of polymer adhesives that affect electrical conductivity, and they can only be printed on flat surfaces.
This limits its broader application.
Recently, a study in Science Advances developed a technique for printing circuits on curved surfaces without adhesives.
The scientists first customized a template with a groove pattern on demand and then reverse-printed the pattern onto a polymer film.
Then they attached the polymer film to a substrate surface, such as a curved surface, and filled the groove pattern on the film with a solution containing silver nanowires.
When the solution dries, what remains is a circuit pattern made of silver nanowires.
Based on this, the scientists developed smart contact lenses with circuits, flexible transparent electrodes that can be used for touch pads, and latex gloves with pressure-sensitive circuits printed on them, proving that this technology has great potential for application.