Washington State University physicists have found a way to write an electrical circuit into a crystal, opening up the possibility of transparent, three-dimensional electronics that, like an Etch A Sketch, can be erased and reconfigured.
The work, to appear in the on-line journal Scientific Reports, serves as a proof of concept for a phenomenon that WSU researchers first discovered by accident four years ago.
“It opens up a new type of electronics where you can define a circuit optically and then erase it and define a new one,” said Matt McCluskey, a WSU professor of physics and materials science. “It’s exciting that it’s reconfigurable. It’s also transparent. There are certain applications where it would be neat to have a circuit that is on a window or something like that, where it actually is invisible electronics.”