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Design007-Apr2019

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APRIL 2019 I DESIGN007 MAGAZINE 51 located in a hazardous industrial environment. Some units may potentially be used undersea for 20+ years or positioned on an aircraft sub- ject to short-haul commuter routes with regu- lar temperature and pressure variations. Other units may be exposed to the vacuum, extremely low temperatures, and ionising radiation haz- ards of outer space; the variations are endless. Under less extreme conditions, you might ask, "Is a resin still the best option, or should a coating be considered as an alternative?" This is an interesting point because the pro- tection provided by a coating offers a number of advantages over the application of a resin. However, as always, the choice will depend on what level of protection the designer requires. In addition, if you need to protect your intel- lectual property and avoid the underlying cir- cuit being copied, then a resin will not only provide excellent protection due to its tough- ness, chemical resistance, and adhesion to the substrate and components, but its opacity will also ensure that the circuit detail is visually ob- scured. If you have any questions or would like more information about potting resins, their selec- tion, handling, and applications, contact our Technical Support Team, and they will be more than happy to answer your queries. DESIGN007 Alistair Little is global business/ technical director—resins—at Electrolube. To read past columns from Electrolube, click here. Also, visit www.I-007eBooks.com to download your free copy of Electrolube's book, The Printed Circuit Assembler's Guide to… Conformal Coatings for Harsh Environments, as well as other free educational titles. Researchers from the University of Houston have re- ported significant advances in stretchable electronics, moving the field closer to commercialization. Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechan- ical engineering at the University of Houston and corre- sponding author on the paper, said the work could lead to important advances in smart devices such as robotic skins, implantable bioelectron- ics, and human-machine interfaces. Carrier mobility—the speed at which electrons can move through a material— is critical for an electronic device to work successfully because it governs the abili- ty of the semiconductor transistors to am- plify the current. Researchers discovered that adding min- ute amounts of metallic carbon nanotubes to the rubbery semiconductor of P3HT— polydimethylsiloxane composite—lead to improved carrier mobility by provid- ing what Yu described as a "highway" to speed up the carrier transport across the semiconductor. (Source: University of Houston) Researchers Report Advances in Stretchable Rubbery Semiconductors, Integrated Electronics

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