Portuguese team makes first paper based transistor

July 22, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Elvira Fortunato and colleagues from the Centro de Investigação de Materiais (Cenimat/I3N), at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, made the first Field Effect Transistor (FET) with a paper "interstrate" layer.

A new device which rivals in electrical performance with the actual state of the art of oxide based thin film transistors (TFTs) produced on glass or crystalline silicon substrates. These results will be published next September in IEEE Electron Device Letters.

Nowadays, there is an increased interest in the use of biopolymers for low-cost electronic applications. Since cellulose is the Earth’s major biopolymer, some international teams have reported using paper as the physical support (substrate) of electronic devices. But, until now, no one had used paper as an interstrate component of a FET.

In a new approach, scientists from Cenimat/I3N – a research group coordinated by Elvira Fortunato and Rodrigo Martins – used a common sheet of paper as the dielectric layer on oxide FETs.

The research team fabricated the devices on both sides of the paper sheet. This way, the paper acts simultaneously as the electric insulator and as the substrate. "Is a two in one," says Elvira Fortunato.

Furthermore, electric characterization of devices showed that the hybrid FETs’ performance outpace those of amorphous silicon TFTs, and rival with the actual state of the art of oxide thin film transistors.

These results suggest promising new disposable electronics devices, like paper displays, smart labels, smart packaging, bio-applications, RFID tags, among others.

Citation: High Performance Flexible Hybrid Field Effect Transistors based on Cellulose Fiber-Paper will be published next September in IEEE Electron Device Letters.

Provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa

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3.3 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2008
I seem to recall the editor of Analog magazine, the late Joseph Campbell, publishing articles about this sort of thing back in the 1960s. He and the author were speculating about being able to draw circuts with pencil on paper and have a working circut.
What took so long?
2.5 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2008
I'd be curious to know how they handle the heat issue with something as heat sensitive as a paper based material.
4 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2008
I'd be curious to know how they handle the heat issue with something as heat sensitive as a paper based material.

They don't, there is no heat issue.
not rated yet Jul 22, 2008
I would also assume that recycling would be easier. Metals and paper are valuable and recycling techniques for them are efficient.

If the vending machine of these disposable items had a recycle slot it would make collection easy. Buy a disposable phone, use it, drop it at the next phone vending machine.

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