Power Pen - Lighting Up The Room
Reported November 2011
CHAMPAIGN, IL (Ivanhoe Newswire) --The ink pen has been around since the early 1900’s, and it’s barely changed its purpose --to write--in over 100 years. That is until now. We’ll show you how a pen can be used to light up a room.
The pen, a basic tool to write lists, numbers and whatever else needs to be jotted down, but one pen is far from ordinary. Materials scientists have developed a rollerball pen that has special electrically-conductive ink that can light up.
“When you use the rollerball pen to write a circuit on paper, you’re basically replacing traditional wiring with conductive ink,” Analisa Russo, Ph.D., a student and materials scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign told Ivanhoe.
The pen can draw electrical circuits on paper, wood, and other surfaces--allowing anyone to design an electronic device on the fly.
"There’s no limitation on the types of patterns you can write anything from very sophisticated artistic renderings to letters to straight lines,” Jennifer Lewis, Ph.D., a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told Ivanhoe.
The ink inside the pen is made from real silver. When the ink dries and electricity is applied, the current flows through the ink just like a wire.
"On the horizon I can imagine being able to enable things that you can do what we call portable manufacturing by basically being able to take out a pen and a piece of paper, design a quick antenna for communications in the field or design a simple display,” Dr. Lewis said.
The pen offers a low cost way to make flexible electrical circuits almost anywhere without an electrician.
“You could literally carry it in your pocket and use it anywhere,” Dr. Russo concluded.
The ink-wired devices can also work using batteries.
Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:
Jennifer A. Lewis, Sc.D.
Director Materials Research Laboratory
Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Illinois
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