An eco-friendly way of “growing” metal for circuitry or antennas has been developed by UK firm QinetiQ.

The metal printing technique replaces conventional copper etching by using a special ink which attracts metals.



It means antennas for tiny mobiles or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, used for tracking goods, could be made cheaply and quickly.



RFID tags are tiny microchips that talk to each other and experts predict they will be big business by 2006.



They are widely tipped to replace eventually the barcoding on products. Because they connect by radio, they do not require the scanners, so familiar with the barcoding system, to read their unique identification codes.



The metal printing technique could transform how RFID tags are made.



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