March 27, 2007
Cell Phones of the Future Could Survive Being Dropped
Cell phones and iPods could soon be made with all-plastic chips that would allow the gadgets to survive being dropped over and over, thanks to work of a Dutch researcher. Live Science reports.
"The reason iPods and cell phones stop working after pavement bounces is that the chips contain many nearly microscopic pathways that send operational signals throughout the device. Those pathways are disturbed by drops. Plastic chips could absorb bounces better.
Currently, the chips inside electronics conduct electricity at least 1,000 times better than plastic. Paulette Prins of the Delft University of Technology discovered that in plastics, the movement of charge was mainly hindered by the structure of the material.
Prins extended the work of a German group that had rebuilt the chain in plastics to form a ladder-like structure. By bombarding the specially developed plastic with electrons from a particle accelerator, she was able to study rapid electrical reactions and demonstrate the new plastic's ability to conduct electricity much better than regular plastic and as well as silicon chips."
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