Wood Might Be the Next Resource Needed to Make Computer Chips
Gabriel Roşu / 6 years ago
All this technology might be great to some extent, allowing you to tweet, text, chat or even order your pizza on your mobile device. But what happens when you want to upgrade your tech? Well, you generate e-waste. This is why there have been a lot of researchers thinking of ways to use new resources to produce something that might be fully recyclable.
Their results may come faster than expected and it comes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory. They teamed up to find something more revolutionary and ecological when it comes to producing chips. But who would have thought that they would use wood as a prime resource? It really is a shocker, but their semiconductor is indeed made almost entirely out of wood.
However, don’t think that they just cut a piece of wood and stuck some circuits on it. That would be mad. Instead, they found out that chips are made almost entirely out of a support layer, which they have replaced with something called cellulose nanofibril, a material made out of wood. They also had to use an epoxy coating on the surface to make it smoother and water resistant, so getting it done wasn’t all that easy.
In the end, the researchers say that the chip is so environmentally friendly that it could be left in a forest and eventually become fertilizer. Now how about that? Is it the start of an era where we use our tech and then help nature grow by throwing the old one in the wilderness after we upgrade? Who knows.