Researchers at IBM are claiming a scientific breakthrough that could help produce low-cost sheets of circuitry. Conventional semiconductors are fabricated on rigid disks of silicon. But some companies have been racing to perfect new manufacturing techniques that can lay down thin films of simpler semiconductors over much larger surfaces, including flexible plastics that could be coated with circuitry and churned out in rolls. Such films could be used in making products such as flexible computer displays and solar cells.
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