Students Preparing a Changing Earth

Harvard Students Develop Transparent Ionic Gel-Based Speaker Opening New Doors for Technology

Material scientists Jeong-Yun Sun and Christoph Keplinger at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Scientists have developed a breakthrough technology that is enabling new, never before imagined opportunities for the world of smart materials. This technology combines the unique characteristics of ionic gel and rubber to create not only speakers that could be applied to every digital screen in every device, but could potentially revolutionize the the future of medicine. This is the stretchable ionic conductor. 

Harvard Ionic GelThe ionic membranes which distribute the electrical signals are also proving themselves advantageous in the fields of optics and “soft machines” as the visionaries behind the development call it. This is because their assemblies can be completely transparent and stretchable- something previously unobtainable due to the change in resistivity with traditional stretchable devices. They also express one-of-a-kind sensitivity to electrical stimulation; they have remarkable actuation speed and accuracy. (They can actually vibrate quickly enough to sound the entire audible spectrum.)

The truly interesting news lies in the possible applications, however. Since the body’s electricity is communicated through ions instead of electrons, this technology can be integrated into humans with less rejection. They can also, as demonstrated, function as effective coatings for electrical devices that play audio and even, in the case of windows, cancel outside noise.

Currently, this freshly invented prototype is underway to commercialization. There is, however, much chemistry to be done before it goes into your devices. Nonetheless, at least you know about it before tomorrow’s commercials are boasting products with transparent speakers.

3 responses

  1. This is brilliant!

    September 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm

  2. Reblogged this on deejayiwan.

    September 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  3. Hey, this is really big news. Now we don’t have to worry about speaker size. All we need to concerns is its quality and output power. This is really great news for music lovers who due to shortage of space can’t get the speakers that they love to have.

    September 27, 2013 at 6:40 am

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