Stamp forms organic laser

November 19/26, 2003

Researchers are working to make electronic components cheaper and more flexible. One way to do this is to make them from organic, or carbon-based, materials.

Researchers from the Italian National Institute for the Physics of Matter (INFM), the Italian University of Lecce and the Italian National Research Center (CNR) have found a class of materials that promises to improve organic electronic components like lasers, light-emitting diodes, and waveguides. Light-emitting diodes are a key component of computer screens, and waveguides channel light.

Most organic electronic devices are made from long, chain-like polymer molecules that can be readily shaped in bulk using heat. Some smaller organic molecules have better optical properties but can't easily be shaped thermally. The researchers have found an organic material that can be shaped by applying pressure with a patterned stamp.

The material can be applied to a device by using room-temperature ink-jet printing to place the material and a stamp to shape it. The researchers' demonstrated the process by making a grating containing lines that measured 600 nanometers from the center of one line to the next and using the grating as the top layer of a red, optically-pumped laser.

The method could be used to fabricate organic devices into five years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the September 29, 2003 issue of Applied Physics Letters.

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