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Electronics that melt away

futuristic science dissolvable mechanical engineering credit cards transient materials heat reaction

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#1 Hum

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 16:57

Ames, IA –  Imagine tossing your old phone in the toilet, watching it dissolve and then flushing it down, instead of having it wind up in a landfill.

Scientists are working on just that: electronic devices that can be triggered to disappear when they are no longer needed.

The technology is years away, but Assistant Professor Reza Montazami and his research team in the mechanical engineering labs at Iowa State University have published a report that shows progress is being made. In the two years they've been working on the project, they have created a fully dissolvable and working antenna.

The electronics, made with special "transient materials," could have far-ranging possibilities. The military could design information-gathering gadgets that could complete their mission and dissolve without leaving a trace. Credit cards and passports could be made to dissolve if they are lost or stolen.

"You can actually send a signal to your passport via satellite that causes the passport to physically degrade, so no one can use it," Montazami said.

Charles Goldman, a surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, believes transient materials could become an important tool for doctors.

He said dissolvable electronics could be used for localizing treatment and delivering vaccines inside the body. They also could eliminate extra surgeries to remove temporarily implanted devices.

So far the dissolvable electronics work only in liquids, such as water, saliva and urine. But Montazami and his team are working on a way to to remotely trigger a heat reaction that would dissolve a device made of transient materials.

 

source




#2 _dandy_

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:06

Great...now when it starts to rain, the damage to your phone is going to be permanent.



#3 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:09

Great...now when it starts to rain, the damage to your phone is going to be permanent.

I was just about to say just that



#4 OP Hum

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:10

^ This is still in development -- years away.

 

 

I think they will put a little nanobot in the center, which will eat up the device. :shifty:



#5 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:13

^ This is still in development -- years away.

 

 

I think they will put a little nanobot in the center, which will eat up the device. :shifty:

But if the Keanu Reeves version of The Day the Earth Stood Still nanobot mechanic was followed, the nanobot would evolve and end up consuming more than just the phone, a couple of million phones like this, and the problem would increase exponentially, OMG we're all going to die!!!!!



#6 xrobwx

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:21

The Mafia are going to love this! Forgeddaboutit!

 

 

Tony--- " WTF,Christofa, I thought I told you to run water over the #$#$%## Phone you stupid ^&^&%$%%#.



#7 +DConnell

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:27

But if the Keanu Reeves version of The Day the Earth Stood Still nanobot mechanic was followed, the nanobot would evolve and end up consuming more than just the phone, a couple of million phones like this, and the problem would increase exponentially, OMG we're all going to die!!!!!

 

And then when they run out of food, the nanobots will merge into spacecrafts and move on to other worlds. We'll destroy the universe!



#8 vetneufuse

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:38

so... now when  police go to confiscate stuff from you, you just dump water on it then hand it to them and let it start to dissolve? :rofl:  by the time the trial comes up the evidence will be "damaged" beyond use and inadmissible... I know I'm stretching it to make a point



#9 +warwagon

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:49

So now when you pill water on your cell phone it resolves into nothing. No amount of rice is going to save that :D

 

But seriously, one thing that ###### me off are devices that do not have removable batteries. Yes they are thinner but they are a crime. Take the iPad for example. Great device, but what happens in 2 1/2 years time when it still works great but  the battery takes a ###### won't run without being plugged in?

 

Now all the parts are glued together so it's hard for places to even take them a part and separate the parts.

 

As long as Samsung keeps selling phones with removable batteries, I will keep buying galaxy phones. I would NEVER buy an HTC One.



#10 LaP

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 17:58

Ames, IA –  Imagine tossing your old phone in the toilet, watching it dissolve and then flushing it down, instead of having it wind up in a landfill.

Scientists are working on just that: electronic devices that can be triggered to disappear when they are no longer needed.

 

 

Where's my Xbox One?

 

Oh **** the XBox Two 4k came out today ...



#11 HawkMan

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 19:20

Great...now when it starts to rain, the damage to your phone is going to be permanent.

 

 

Read the article. "Triggered to dissolve", there may be a key word there you missed.



#12 _dandy_

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 19:57

Read the article. "Triggered to dissolve", there may be a key word there you missed.

 

Either something dissolves in water or does not.  What sort of "trigger" do you envision can change a physical property like that?



#13 HawkMan

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 20:01

Chemical, electro-chemical, or many other options.



#14 +LogicalApex

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 20:04

Either something dissolves in water or does not. What sort of "trigger" do you envision can change a physical property like that?


The technology is still in development. So how it triggers and how stable that trigger is has yet to be fully worked out.

#15 _dandy_

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 20:05

The technology is still in development. So how it triggers and how stable that trigger is has yet to be fully worked out.

 

I look forward to this along with the flying cars and the batteries that last 100x longer than they do right now.