Organic Semiconductors and Their Applications
Presenter: Sebastian Wood, National Physical Laboratory
For the last 50 years, progress in electronics has been based on inorganic semiconductors, primarily silicon. We’ve seen amazing developments in consumer electronics, but there are some fundamental limitations to what can be achieved using inorganic semiconductors: they are hard, brittle materials, and require expensive processing equipment. In contrast, organic semiconductors (carbon-based molecules with semiconducting properties) offer a completely new paradigm for electronics where semiconductors can be printed onto any surface to make flexible, robust, and lightweight electronics using simple techniques.
A wide range of exciting applications for organic semiconductors have recently been demonstrated in research laboratories around the world including:
- flexible solar panels
- wearable sensors
- smart packaging
- novel medical devices
However, attempts to scale-up production of these technologies for commercialisation have been largely unsuccessful.
The difficulty is that the electronic performance of organic semiconductors is extremely sensitive to their processing conditions. Overcoming this problem relies on having accurate ways to measure the properties of organic semiconductors, which are being developed at the National Physical Laboratory. Sebastian Wood will explain how precise measurements at the nanometre-scale will help to get organic semiconductors out of universities and into everyday use.