A major step forward in organic electronics

  • The first printable organic electrochemical transistor was build in 2002. Several other components like LED and electrochemical displays we’re available now.
  • The dominating material used until now has been PEDOT:PSS, which is a p-type material, in which the charge carriers are holes.
  • PEDOT:PSS or poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate is a polymer mixture of two ionomers.
  • In order to construct effective electron components, a complementary material, n-type, is required, in which the charge carriers are electrons.
  • It has been difficult to find a sufficiently stable polymer material, one that can operate in water media and in which the long polymer chains can sustain high current when the material is doped.
  • The recent research results from an n-type conducting material in which the ladder-type structure of the polymer backbone favours ambient stability and high current when doped.
  • One example is BBL, poly(benzimidazobenzophenanthroline), a material often used in solar cell research.
  • The researcher has found a method to create thick films of the material. The thicker the film, the greater the conductivity.
  • They have used spray-coating to produce films up to 200 nm thick. These can reach extremely high conductivities.
  • This may appear at first glance to be a small advance in a specialised field, but what is great about it is that it has major consequences for many applications.
  • We can now construct complementary logic circuits,inverters, sensors and other components that function in moist surroundings.
  • Resistors are needed in logical circuits that are based solely on p-type electro chemical transistors. These are rather bulky, and this limits the applications that can be achieved.
  • With an n-type material in our toolbox, we can produce complementary circuits that occupy the available space much more efficiently, since resistors are no longer required in the logical circuits.

Application:

  • Logic circuit can be printed on paper or textile.
  • Cheap sensor.
  • Non rigid and flexible displays.
  • Bioelectronics

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