Fish scales turned into biodegradable electronic displays

Fish scales turned into biodegradable electronic displays

These fish scales could provide an eco-friendly alternative to use in flexible displays for electronic devices which use plastic.
Hai-Dong Yu at Nanjing Tech University in China said Flexibility is important for wearable electronics to enable the creation of displays that bend, fold or twist easily.
Plastic is a harmful material for environment. Plastic has been the go-to material for achieving this kind of flexibility, sustainable, low-cost alternatives are highly sought after.

Almost 70.5 million metric tonnes fish is produced and its 3 % is scale and they usually don’t get eaten and go to waste, but Yu and his team saw potential in this for flexible electronics.

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After extraction of the gelatin from fish scales, the team used this in the creation of an extremely thin film.
Then as a electrodes, tiny silver nanowires were incorporated into it, along with zinc sulphide and copper to emit light for electronic display.
Fully biodegraded after 24 days in soil, the result was a flexible electronic display. Yu said this means fish scales could also be used for disposable wearable electronic devices.

“We are excited about enhancing and boosting the development of green flexible electronics.” He says.
Yu says that the fish scale films have the advantages of high transparency, low cost and low surface roughness. By dissolving in warm water we can recycle them.
In addition to fish scales, other biological substances are being discovered for similar purposes, including cellulose from cotton fibres and silk protein from silkworms.

Dipankar Mandal at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology in Mohali, India says. “We can expect to see more like this in the near future.
This will be a big achievement for the world in bio-electronics. The more we create things which could be recycled, the better will be for the environment.

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