University of Surrey touts flexible gadget breakthrough

Flexible electronics, such as roll-up gadgets, might be enabled by a new technology developed by researchers at the UK's University of Surrey along with scientists from Philips, which have been working on a "source-gated transistor" (SGT).

Earlier research found that SGTs can be applied to electronic designs of an analog nature and display screens, but the group's latest study shows that SGTs can also be applied to next-generation digital circuits. According to the university, SGTs control an electric current just as it enters a semiconductor, which "decreases the odds of circuit malfunction, improves energy efficiency and keeps fabrication costs to a minimum." Those properties potentially enable incorporation of digital technologies into flexible plastics or clothing textiles.

Suggested applications include thin wraps that can wirelessly monitor a wearer's health, low-cost electronic shopping tags for instant checkout and disaster prediction sensors for buildings in disaster-prone areas. For more, check out this release.