Many research teams are working on making
practical organic transistors because they can be used in flexible and
transparent electronics like displays and because they are potentially
very inexpensive. The challenge is making organic transistors that work
Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have
moved organic transistors forward with a device whose structure is vertical
rather than horizontal like most transistors.
The structure makes for transistors with a working voltage of
less than 5 volts and an electrical current output of 10 milliamps. Horizontal
organic transistors have working voltages as high as 100 volts and current
outputs measured in microamps, or millionths of an amp.
The prototype vertical organic field effect transistor consists
of thin stacked layers, with a layer of carbon C60 molecules as the organic
semiconductor channel that regulates the flow of electricity. The device's
low voltage and high output are the result of its short channel length
and large channel area, according to the researchers.
Organic transistors made this way could eventually be used in
active matrix displays, and have the potential to enable large, inexpensive
The researchers demonstrated the transistor driving an organic
light-emitting diode. The transistor can be switched in less than a millisecond;
smaller prototypes will be faster, according to the researchers.
The vertical transistors could be used in practical applications
in two to five years, according to the researchers. The work appeared
in the November 22, 2004 issue of Applied Physics Letters.
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