One of the largest trends driving electronic component innovation currently is the area of organic electronics.
Organic materials, specifically the conductive and semi-conductive ones, could be a great investment while minerals like silicon are in short supply.
Since the concept of conductive polymers has only been around since the late 70s, there has been a rush of innovation in the years since.
One of the most famous and well-integrated forms of organic electronics is the OLED. Organic Light-Emitting Diode technology is used in TV and device screens, giving a thinner and lighter alternative to LCD (liquid crystal display) technology.
Although OLED is potentially the most well-known, there are lots of exciting projects currently underway. Here is a quick list of some to watch out for:
Starting off with some medical industry innovation, new adaptive moisture sensors for wounds could vastly improve the healing of some injuries.
Currently to check the healing progress of a wound you remove the dressing, which disturbs the wound and healing process. Not the best strategy, right?
Another factor that massively affects the healing process is the amount of moisture in the wound. Either too much or too little moisture can affect the wound negatively, so this needs to be carefully monitored.
The first type of moisture sensor for bandages was introduced in 2007, and since then bandages with more absorption and retention properties have been developed.
One of the latest iterations of these bandages was proposed by the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2021. The bandage comprised of a moisture impedance sensor based on PEDOT:PSS (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate) in a bandage. This version is completely wireless and can be passively monitored, unlike its heavy predecessors, including 2016’s ‘Wound Sense’. The previous iteration included electrodes and a connected reader.
Ever wondered about the tech that is in your e-reader? Electronic paper is another great organic electronics development. But electronic paper’s capabilities stretch far beyond just e-readers. It can be used for restaurant menus, advertising billboards and shop price tags.
Capsules of polar-charged black and white ink pigments make up these screens with electrodes on both sides. When a charge is applied, the pigments with the corresponding charge will move to the bottom or top. This forms the words we see on the screen.
This technology uses very low power since it is bistable, so it will only consume power while the screen changes.
These devices, also called TENGs, can convert mechanical energy into electricity. Since most of the components are organic it is a much more eco-friendly and safe option for a lot of wearable technology. It could harvest energy from everyday sources, like human motion, flowing water, and many other areas.
These innovative successors to the solar panel could see transparent solar cells placed on top of windows. It could generate electricity and improve heating and cooling costs through harnessing UV light.
Typically transparent solar cells absorb infrared light, but the latest iterations use UV instead. Currently, UV light is reflected by a window coating so it doesn’t affect our skin or bleach the items in our house. However, with transparent solar cells this energy can be utilized to power the window and will not interfere with heat coming into the room by absorbing the infrared rays.
The technology is low current and wireless, and could be used to power other IoT (Internet of Things) devices in the future.
It is nice to look to the future and see all the exciting innovations to come, but that won’t solve your electronic component shortages today. Lantek can help. With our vast stocklist and global contacts we can source any part you need. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 1-973-579-8100.