New Sustainable Method for Creating Organic Semiconductors
Researchers have developed a conductive ink as a sustainable material for use in organic electronics.
Complete the form below to unlock access to ALL audio articles.
Researchers at Linköping University have developed a new, more environmentally friendly way to create conductive inks for use in organic electronics such as solar cells, artificial neurons, and soft sensors. The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, pave the way for future sustainable technology.
Organic electronics are on the rise as a complement and, in some cases, a replacement to traditional silicon-based electronics. Thanks to simple manufacturing, high flexibility, and low weight combined with the electrical properties typically associated with traditional semiconductors, it can be useful for applications such as digital displays, energy storage, solar cells, sensors, and soft implants.
Organic electronics are built from semiconducting plastics, known as conjugated polymers. However, processing conjugated polymers often requires environmentally hazardous, toxic, and flammable solvents. This is a major obstacle to the wide commercial and sustainable use of organic electronics.
Now, researchers at Linköping University have developed a new sustainable method for processing these polymers from water. In addition to being more sustainable, the new inks are also highly conductive.
When researchers tested the new conductive ink as a transport layer in organic solar cells, they found that both stability and efficiency were higher than with traditional materials. They also tested the ink to create electrochemical transistors and artificial neurons, demonstrating operating frequencies similar to biological neurons.
“I believe that these results can have a transformative impact on the field of organic electronics. By enabling the processing of organic semiconductors from green and sustainable solvents like water, we can mass-produce electronic devices with minimal impact on the environment,” says Simone Fabiano, a Wallenberg Academy Fellow.
The research was funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE), the Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC), the Swedish Research Council, Vinnova, the European Commission, and the Swedish government’s strategic investment in new functional materials (AFM) at Linköping University.
Reference: Liu T, Heimonen J, Zhang Q, et al. Ground-state electron transfer in all-polymer donor:acceptor blends enables aqueous processing of water-insoluble conjugated polymers. Nat Commun. 2023;14(1):8454. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-44153-7
This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.