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Is this the end of e-scrap as we know it?

United States – E-scrap may literally have a green lining now that a research team in the USA is developing a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood.

The ultra-thin green chips with wood-derived substrate are said to mirror the performance of existing ones, according to electrical and computer engineering specialist Dr Zhenqiang Ma of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He believes that the flexibility of the technology can lead to ‘widespread adoption’ of the chips.

This ecological approach could have a big impact on what is consigned to landfills every year, Ma stresses. Another benefit is that the new process ‘greatly reduces’ the use of expensive and potentially toxic materials. ‘Now the chips are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade them – they become as safe as fertilizer,’ he points out.

His research team is currently in talks with a US start-up company to explore how best to commercialise the concept.

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