In seeking to develop the next generation of micro-electronic transistors, researchers have long sought to find the next best thing to replace silicon. To this end, a wealth of recent research into fully flexible electronic circuitry has focused on various organic and metal-oxide ink materials, which often lack all the favorable electronic properties of silicon but offer superior “printability.” Recently, a group of researchers has pioneered a method that allows silicon itself, in the polycrystalline form used in circuitry, to be produced directly on a substrate from liquid silicon ink with a single laser pulse — potentially ousting its pale usurpers.

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