Part-organic invention can be used in bendable mobile phones

10 oktober 2018 om 13:51 uur

Engineers at The Australian National University (ANU) have invented a semiconductor with organic and inorganic materials that can convert electricity into light very efficiently, and it is thin and flexible enough to help make devices such as mobile phones bendable.

The invention also opens the door to a new generation of high-performance electronic devices made with organic materials that will be biodegradable or that can be easily recycled, promising to help substantially reduce e-waste.


The organic component has the thickness of just one atom - made from just carbon and hydrogen - and forms part of the semiconductor that the ANU team developed. The inorganic component has the thickness of around two atoms. The hybrid structure can convert electricity into light efficiently for displays on mobile phones, televisions and other electronic devices.


PhD researcher Ankur Sharma said experiments demonstrated the performance of their semiconductor would be much more efficient than conventional semiconductors made with inorganic materials such as silicon. "We have the potential with this semiconductor to make mobile phones as powerful as today's supercomputers. The light emission from our semiconducting structure is very sharp, so it can be used for high-resolution displays and, since the materials are ultra-thin, they have the flexibility to be made into bendable screens and mobile phones in the near future."


The team grew the organic semiconductor component molecule by molecule, in a similar way to 3D printing. The process is called chemical vapour deposition.


"We characterised the opto-electronic and electrical properties of our invention to confirm the tremendous potential of it to be used as a future semiconductor component," lead senior researcher  Larry Lu said. "We are working on growing our semiconductor component on a large scale, so it can be commercialised in collaboration with prospective industry partners."


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