Researchers from the U.K are doing their bit by developing an eco-friendly circuit boards for mobile phones and other electronic devices. The SYMETA headed by Prof Yiannis Vardaxoglou at Loughborough University and funded by a $3.9m from EPSRC plans to find new ways to build circuits without using any harmful elements and methods. This initiative is a part of a $21m investment funded by the EPSRC in doing research to find ways to eliminate the current challenges faced by science.
The SYMETA suggests using what they call “Metamaterials” for making circuit boards. Metamaterials are engineered composites with electromagnetic properties and are found in nature. These researchers aim at creating materials can be printed onto a surface through a nozzle to create the eco-friendly circuit boards. Then by using 3D printing techniques, a high-frequency circuit is to be made with the Metamaterials. This technique does not require any harmful chemicals and it also cuts down on the number of stages involved in the manufacture of circuits, thereby saving time and money.
The number of mobile phones manufactured and sold, are elevating by a substantial number every year and so is the production and sales of other electronics for various industries. All electronic gadgets require circuit boards but today these are produced by extreme methods which involve harmful chemicals, high temperatures and huge volumes of water which obviously causes damage to nature.
Since the current manufacturing process involves numerous steps you can picture the amount of water being wasted. Just imagine the number of chemical wastes produced and the amount of water used up as a result of the production of circuit boards all over the world!
Metamaterials and the use of 3D printing techniques
The biggest advantage of Metamaterials is that they can be manipulated to create circuit boards of unusual shapes and can also be used to create different frequencies for an antenna. So it’s not just eco-friendly circuit board for mobiles and stuff. Metamaterial technology can be applied to various sectors such as aerospace, defence, and healthcare.