Miniaturization of electronic circuits has been one factor driving the drastic changes in the technology industry. The technique to squeeze smaller components into still smaller areas results in reduced form factors and more powerful yet smaller devices.
Organic electronics is one emerging field that is is very promising when it comes to continuing this trend of miniaturization. Organic electronics would be utilized in creation of flexible ultra-thin even foldable circuits. Such material could be used for displays in electronic news papers or billboards for instance. Also, they could lead to development of super-thin mobile devices with crystal clear display.
When it comes to creating the next generation of electronics, the manufacturing process also needs to be revolutionized. Traditional processes that were based on coating the surface of the circuit with semiconductor material and then etching them away to form the required conducting patterns have been found to be very wasteful.
There are several other techniques that are being experimented and depending on which gets wider adoption, the whole economics of organic semiconductor materials will be impacted. On one hand there is the printing technique – special ink-jet printers injecting drops of plastic semiconductor on a substrate in the desired pattern. And then there is the newer technique of making organic semiconductor material self-assemble around source and drain electrodes.
The new method eliminates the need to pattern the semiconductor layer. Once the researchers have patterned the source and drain electrodes using lithography, they dip the circuit in a special chemical to treat the electrode surface. Then they coat the circuit with a thin layer of an organic semiconductor solution.
The new technique makes the manufacturing of organic semiconductor circuits much more simpler and practical.