Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

TV as thin as a sheet of paper? Printable flexible electronics just became easier with stable electrodes

Date:
April 19, 2012
Source:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Summary:
Researchers have introduced what appears to be a universal technique to reduce the work function of a conductor. Their use in printable electronics can pave the way for lower cost and more flexible devices.

After introducing what appears to be a universal technique to reduce the work function of a conductor in printable electronics, a team led by Georgia Tech's Bernard Kippelen has developed the first completely plastic solar cell.
Credit: Virginie Drujon-Kippelen

Imagine owning a television with the thickness and weight of a sheet of paper. It will be possible, someday, thanks to the growing industry of printed electronics. The process, which allows manufacturers to literally print or roll materials onto surfaces to produce an electronically functional device, is already used in organic solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that form the displays of cellphones.

Although this emerging technology is expected to grow by tens of billions of dollars over the next 10 years, one challenge is in manufacturing at low cost in ambient conditions. In order to create light or energy by injecting or collecting electrons, printed electronics require conductors, usually calcium, magnesium or lithium, with a low-work function. These metals are chemically very reactive. They oxidize and stop working if exposed to oxygen and moisture. This is why electronics in solar cells and TVs, for example, must be covered with a rigid, thick barrier such as glass or expensive encapsulation layers.

However, in new findings published in the journal Science, Georgia Tech researchers have introduced what appears to be a universal technique to reduce the work function of a conductor. They spread a very thin layer of a polymer, approximately one to 10 nanometers thick, on the conductor's surface to create a strong surface dipole. The interaction turns air-stable conductors into efficient, low-work function electrodes.

The commercially available polymers can be easily processed from dilute solutions in solvents such as water and methoxyethanol.

"These polymers are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and compatible with existent roll-to-roll mass production techniques," said Bernard Kippelen, director of Georgia Tech's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE). "Replacing the reactive metals with stable conductors, including conducting polymers, completely changes the requirements of how electronics are manufactured and protected. Their use can pave the way for lower cost and more flexible devices."

To illustrate the new method, Kippelen and his peers evaluated the polymers' performance in organic thin-film transistors and OLEDs. They've also built a prototype: the first-ever, completely plastic solar cell.

"The polymer modifier reduces the work function in a wide range of conductors, including silver, gold and aluminum," noted Seth Marder, associate director of COPE and professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "The process is also effective in transparent metal-oxides and graphene."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Zhou, C. Fuentes-Hernandez, J. Shim, J. Meyer, A. J. Giordano, H. Li, P. Winget, T. Papadopoulos, H. Cheun, J. Kim, M. Fenoll, A. Dindar, W. Haske, E. Najafabadi, T. M. Khan, H. Sojoudi, S. Barlow, S. Graham, J.-L. Bredas, S. R. Marder, A. Kahn, B. Kippelen. A Universal Method to Produce Low-Work Function Electrodes for Organic Electronics. Science, 2012; 336 (6079): 327 DOI: 10.1126/science.1218829

Cite This Page:

Georgia Institute of Technology. "TV as thin as a sheet of paper? Printable flexible electronics just became easier with stable electrodes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419143123.htm>.
Georgia Institute of Technology. (2012, April 19). TV as thin as a sheet of paper? Printable flexible electronics just became easier with stable electrodes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419143123.htm
Georgia Institute of Technology. "TV as thin as a sheet of paper? Printable flexible electronics just became easier with stable electrodes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120419143123.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins