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DARPA Looking For Technology to Create 'transient Electronics' Devices

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dissolving transient electronics

Transient electronics developed under the Vanishing Programmable Resources program could be triggered to dissolve, making them useless to any enemy who might come across them.

Credit: DARPA

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Vanishing Programmable Resources program was established to foster the development of "transient electronics" that dissolve when triggered. Phones, radios, remote sensors, and other electronics proliferate on the battlefield, and can be obtained by enemies to reveal sensitive information. However, tracking and retrieving every device is not viable, so the Department of Defense is seeking technology that would essentially vaporize electronics in response to a signal, possibly sent remotely to the device from a command post or triggered in response to environmental cues such as temperature.

Ahead of a broad agency announcement, a Proposer's Day will solicit basic research into materials, devices, manufacturing and integration processes, and design methodologies, with the goal of yielding a circuit representing an environmental or biomedical sensor capable of remote communication with a user.

"DARPA has previously demonstrated that transient electronics might be used to fight infections at surgical sites," says DARPA's Alicia Jackson. "Now, we want to develop a revolutionary new class of electronics for a variety of systems whose transience does not require submersion in water."

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