Researchers from the United States presented new designs made of paper – including a Bluetooth keyboard that can be connected to any device. In a few years, even ordinary users will be able to print it.
Engineers at Purdue University have created a printing process that can coat paper or cardboard with high fluoride molecules. This makes the material strong enough to print multiple electrical circuits on it without damaging the paint.
As noted in an article published by the engineers in the Nano Energy publication, these “triboelectric regions” can then support Bluetooth wireless technology. However, paper printed and processed in this way does not need external batteries, since it generates electricity when it contacts the user’s finger.
For example, scientists were able to create a keyboard from a sheet of paper, which was also coated with a special agent. So users were able to use a paper keyboard with which they can type on a laptop.
This isn’t the first time engineers have come up with new ways to use paper in electronics. A few months ago, the University of Missouri researchers also created a paper and pencil for medical use that can track heart rate, respiration, glucose levels, body temperature, and sweat composition. In 2015, researchers at Michigan State University created an elastic conductor from paper cut using the Japanese art of kirigami.
However, scientists from Purdue University presented a unique device – it does not need external power sources, so even smart packaging can be made from it. The researchers warn that it will be several years before ordinary users can print themselves a paper Bluetooth keyboard.