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Organic semicon help develop printed electronics

Posted: 14 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Advance Nanotech? nanotechnology? organic semiconductor? Center for Advanced Photonics and Electronics? composite?

Advance Nanotech Inc., a provider of financing and support services for nanotechnology discoveries, announced progress in the development of new organic semiconductors. Advance Nanotech's research team, in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at the University of Cambridge in England, has developed composites comprised of organic polymers and nanostructured materials that provide "printable" semiconductors for inkjet print manufacturing.

"We're very optimistic about the demand for printed electronics. IDTechEx estimates that printed electronics will grow to $30 billion in 2015 and reach $250 billion by 2025," said Peter Gammel, chief technology officer at Advance Nanotech. "This simplification in the manufacturing of semiconductors will open up new uses for electronics. We will be able to incorporate intelligent circuits into a variety of objects, from clothing to packaging."

Advance Nanotech revealed that electronic and optoelectronic components such as transistor circuits, photovoltaic films, RFID tags, OLEDs, displays, logic and memory components, wireless interfaces and RF shields could be printed In the future. Electronic and optoelectronic fabrication plants will resemble printing presses. Enabling this will require polymer materials that can be inkjet printed while exhibiting carrier mobility and current transport characteristics that make them suitable for electronic device applications.

"A one nanometer gap between the molecules of an organic polymer is sufficient to prevent effective charge transport. Today even the best polymer materials exhibit a conductivity that is two to three orders of magnitude lower than silicon," says Paul Beecher, a CAPE researcher working on the project. "Our technology explores an alternative approach to overcoming the poor electrical properties of most organic semiconductors by exploiting the enhanced conductivity brought about by selected nanomaterials."

More than a year of R&D efforts has allowed the team to optimize the chemical treatment of nanostructured materials and disperse them in a range of polymers. Selected nanomaterials have been incorporated in organic polymers, thus turning insulating materials into composites that show promising transistor characteristics. These composites have also proven quite stable, with no tendency to quickly form aggregates in solution, and are therefore suitable for inkjet print manufacturing.

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