Hyaline: A Bio-Fabricated Film for More Sustainable Electronic Systems

April 12, 2020 by Luke James

A bio-based electronics film which has already been successfully used in flexible circuits, printable electronics, and display touch sensors could reimagine electronics as we know it.

In an official press release, Zymergen—the company behind Hyaline—described their bio-fabricated film as “revolutionary… for electronics applications”. It merges the benefits of advanced bio-fabrication with traditionally generated materials, and the company is said to have already successfully used the biofilm in flexible circuits, printable electronics, and display touch sensors.


Production Process  

Zymergen used machine learning in conjunction with its own automation and technology platform to produce the Hyaline film, which exhibits differentiated and sustainable performance with respect to its optical and mechanical properties. 

According to the company’s press release, it is also relatively inexpensive and sustainable. The film is a transparent polymer that has been made from an unidentified new monomer that the companies’ researchers produced via fermentation. Hyaline is said to boast more transparency and strength when compared with current synthetic films. 


A researcher holding up a hyaline film.

A researcher holding up the Hyaline film developed Zymergen. Image credited to Zymergen. 

Applications of the Hyaline Film

These films have already been used in:

  • Touch Sensors: Hyaline’s properties enable durable full-screen touch sensing in flexible devices. They also allow for higher ITO annealing temperatures during manufacturing, improving capacity.
  • Optical Filters: Hyaline is thinner and has better temperature properties, enabling faster manufacturing processing times.
  • Printed Electronics: Hyaline helps create systems that are up to 30% thinner and more flexible due to its properties and the way it can be used to eliminate epoxy adhesive layers. 

Zymergen will continue working with Sumitomo to introduce additional biofilms while working in parallel on a portfolio of high-performance products that have been inspired by nature and rely less on petroleum-based manufacturing.