Researchers from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in Portugal, say they've made a transistor in which paper acts as a functional component. Elvira Fortunato, who led the research, says that paper-based transistors will be orders of magnitude cheaper and could be used for low-cost, flexible, and disposable microelectronics, such as biosensors, intelligent packaging, and lightbulbs.
Is this the breakthrough that will propel the Smart Economy forward or a new security risk that airlines and troops fearing new improvised explosive devices (IED's) need to worry about ?
IEDs have killed untold thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis, as well as more than 2000 coalition troops. The U.S. military has responded with an intensive program of technology development, spending US $12.4 billion over the past three years on counter-IED equipment, technology R&D, training, and other measures. Among the more exotic technologies being pursued to detect IEDs from a distance are terahertz-frequency waves. They penetrate most nonmetals that conceal IEDs.