Fully Recyclable Printed Electronics Eschew Toxic Chemicals

Duke University engineers have produced the world’s first fully recyclable printed electronics that replace the use of chemicals with water in the fabrication process. The work could lead to the industry reducing its environmental footprint and human health risks.

“If you’re making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, one layer on either slice of bread is easy,” explained Aaron Franklin , the Addy Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke, who led the study. “But if you put the jelly down first and then try to spread peanut butter on top of it, forget it, the jelly won’t stay put and will intermix with the peanut butter. Putting layers on top of each other is not as easy as putting them down on their own — but that’s what you have to do if you want to build electronic devices with printing.”