Xerox develops method to print transistors with semiconductive ink

Posted on Saturday, Apr 17 2004 @ 00:06 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researches at Xerox have invented a way to print plastic transistors using a semiconductive ink. This could lead to flexible displays and low-cost radio frecuency identification (RFID) chips.

Other companies are also working on ways to print transistors using inkjet printing technologies or other methods to depose liquid on a surface. But most of these techniques require high temperatures or high pressures. In contrast to Xerox who invented a way to print transistors at room temperature.
The new technique builds on a polythiophene semiconductor developed by Ong's team last fall. Polythiophene is an organic compound that resists degradation in open air better than other semiconductor liquids and also exhibits self-assembling properties.

Ong's team has now found a way to take the polythiophene semiconductor and process into a liquid that can form ordered nanoparticles. When the particles are put into liquid form, they form an ink that can be used to print the three key components of a circuit: a semiconductor, a conductor, and a dielectric, Xerox said.

The CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) technology used to build most chips today is expensive, and requires a solid base such as silicon to manufacture circuits. Xerox hopes this technology can be used to build displays that can be rolled up, bent around a corner, or otherwise stretched in ways not currently possible.

Backers of RFID technology are also looking for a way to build low-cost chips that can be used to track inventory in warehouses and grocery stores. Companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are looking for ways to improve their inventory management techniques with these chips, but the cost of putting an RFID chip in every product sold through a company as large as Wal-Mart is prohibitive.

Ong presented his findings to the Material Research Society spring conference in San Francisco Friday, and was unavailable for comment.
Source: InfoWorld

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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