Tsukuba, Japan – Researchers at the University of Tsukuba have created a new carbon-based electrical device, π-ion gel transistors (PIGTs), using ionic gel made of conductive polymer. This work could lead to cheaper and more reliable flexible printed electronics.
Organic conductors, which are carbon-based polymers that can carry electric currents, have the potential to dramatically change the way electronic devices are made. These guides have features that can be modified by chemical modification and can be easily printed as circuits. Compared to conventional silicon solar panels and transistors, systems based on organic conductors could be more flexible and easier to install. However, their electrical conductivity can be significantly reduced if the condensed polymer chains are disturbed due to improper processing, which severely limits their ability to compete with existing technologies. .
Now, a team of researchers led by Tsukuba University has devised a new method for preserving the electrical properties of organic conductors by creating “gel ions.” In this case, ionic liquid replaced the solvent around the poly (para-phenyleneethynylene) (PPE) chains, which it then turned into a gel.Using a confocal fluorescent microscope and scanning electron microscopy, the charge research to determine the morphology of the organic conductor.
“We have shown that the inner structure of our gel π-ion is a nanofiber network of PPE, which is excellent at reliably conducting electricity,” says author Dr. Yohei Yamamoto.
In addition to acting as wires for delocalized electrons, the polymer chains direct the flow of mobile ions, which help move carriers to the carbon rings. This allows flow to flow through the full size of the device. The resulting transistor can turn on and off in response to voltage changes in less than 20 microseconds – which is faster than any previous device of this type.
“We plan to use this advancement in supramolecular chemistry and organic electronics to design a complete configuration of flexible electronic devices,” explains Dr. Yamamoto. The fast response time and high transport rate are opening the way for flexible sensors who enjoy the ease of manufacturing associated with organic conductors, without sacrificing speed or performance.
The work is published in Advanced materials as “Organic Fast Response Supramolecular Transistors Using In-Situ π-Ion Gels.”
(DOI: 10.1002 / adma.202006061)
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