New transistor concept, solar cell included

March 6, 2018, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Credit: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

ICN2 researchers have developed a novel concept in transistor technology: a two-in-one power source plus transistor device that runs on solar energy. Published in Advanced Functional Materials, lead author Amador Pérez-Tomás is calling it the "solaristor."

Transistors are everywhere in modern . They are in your phones, your radios, your computers… Where wires transport electricity from A to B, transistors can modulate the current between high and low states which, translated into sequences of ones and zeros, is the basis of the age of information.

But your phone needs more than transistors to work; it also needs an energy source. All electronic devices are connected up to a battery of some kind, requiring cables, sometimes complex systems and a lot of space –the battery is the single biggest component of any mobile phone. What ICN2 researchers propose in this work is a compact self-powered transistor that incorporates the energy source and the transistor into the same slim unit. What's more, the energy source is the Sun.

Published in Advanced Functional Materials, the work explains how the "transistor effect" is achieved by using a ferroelectric oxide to create the heterojunction needed for solar functionality. Such a set-up harnesses the switchable polarisation of this ferroelectric layer to achieve off and on states –1s and 0s– in the flow of electrons harvested by the organic semiconductor.

This game-changing concept combines the best of solar cells and the best of into a single device the size of a biological cell. Full details of this new concept can be found in the paper "A Solar Transistor and Photoferroelectric Memory."

Explore further: Researchers develop transistors that can switch between two stable energy states

More information: Amador Pérez-Tomás et al. A Solar Transistor and Photoferroelectric Memory, Advanced Functional Materials (2018). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201707099

Related Stories

Quantum thermal transistor can control heat currents

May 31, 2016

(Phys.org)—Researchers have designed a quantum thermal transistor that can control heat currents, in analogy to the way in which an electronic transistor controls electric current. The thermal transistor could be used in ...

Prototype of new transistor for lower power consumption

June 4, 2014

Researchers from the University of Twente MESA+ research institute, together with the company SolMateS, have developed a new type of transistor to reduce the power consumption of microchips. The basic element of modern electronics, ...

Neuron transistor behaves like a brain neuron

June 20, 2017

(Phys.org)—Researchers have built a new type of "neuron transistor"—a transistor that behaves like a neuron in a living brain. These devices could form the building blocks of neuromorphic hardware that may offer unprecedented ...

Recommended for you

Solution for next generation nanochips comes out of thin air

November 19, 2018

Researchers at RMIT University have engineered a new type of transistor, the building block for all electronics. Instead of sending electrical currents through silicon, these transistors send electrons through narrow air ...

Scientists create atomic scale, 2-D electronic kagome lattice

November 19, 2018

Scientists from the University of Wollongong (UOW), working with colleagues at China's Beihang University, Nankai University, and Institute of Physics at Chinese Academy of Sciences, have successfully created an atomic scale, ...

Graphene flickers at 400Hz in 2500ppi displays

November 16, 2018

With virtual reality (VR) sizzling in every electronic fair, there is a need for displays with higher resolution, frame rates and power efficiency. Now, a joint collaboration of researchers from SCALE Nanotech, Graphenea ...

Solving mazes with single-molecule DNA navigators

November 16, 2018

The field of intelligent nanorobotics is based on the great promise of molecular devices with information processing capabilities. In a new study that supports the trend of DNA-based information carriers, scientists have ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.