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The Siliconless Valley? Clear, Organic Transistors Are Speeding Up

Organic as in "carbon" not as in "GMO-free" or whatever. Although, irrelevantly, it's also GMO free.
via Stanford Engineering

Typically my definition of organic is functionally “those avocados that cost twice as much,” but back in chemistry class it means “of, relating to, or denoting compounds containing carbon,” which means that these clear, thin film transistors qualify. And the researchers from Stanford and University of Nebraska believe they could be the cheaper means to clear, Tony-Stark-like electronics, as their speed finally approaches that of their silicon counterparts.

Compared to the crystalline and polycrystalline silicon transistors, which have been de rigor in our electronics, organic transistors have never been fast enough. But the researchers are claming in a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications that a new method of manufacturing the organic semiconductors has them performing comparably to modern silicon.

Organic transistors are made by spreading carbon-rich molecules and a polymer across a medium thinly and evenly. Typically this is done with the help of centrifugal force, so the medium was spinning while it was coated from a single center point. The Lincoln Journal Star describes the twist the team put on spinning:

The research team applied an "off-center spin coating method" to make a semiconductor device with organic thin film transistors. The coating method significantly improved carrier mobility—how quickly electrical charges travel—in the device. The development means less costly materials can be used for electronics, improving computer displays and TV screens via higher resolutions, and better motion and animation renderings.

Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, has been working on increasing organic semiconductor speed for years, according to IEEE Spectrum. Two years ago he found a way to double or triple the speed of organic electronics but it was still just a fraction of the speed of silicon. The new method is still experimental and has produced uneven results, but Bao and the team from Nebraska have inched closer to making displays controlled by organic transistors. The utility of a siliconless transistor might not be clear yet, but the transistor is.