For the Public
Introduction to Plastic Electronics
Plastic - or printable - electronics are made of flexible (often "plastic") materials, which can often be deposited by low-cost solution processing techniques, allowing devices to be made by "roll-to-roll" manufacturing. Lightweight, flexible electronics can be more easily incorporated into clothing and accessories, or can be used to make curved screens and displays, such as LG's curved OLED (organic light emitting diode) TVs. Sensors and other devices made from plastic can be used on skin or in the body ("bioelectonics").
You may be thinking, "But plastics don't conduct electricity!" Most of the time this is true. However, there are a number of special types of polymers (plastics) and molecules that can conduct electricity.
This is a very active field of research, and the Centre for Plastic Electronics has over 25 groups working on different research areas. This includes: the chemical synthesis, design and modelling of molecules and materials; fundamental measurements of molecules and materials; electronic device manufacture and testing.