Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, June 04, 2007

Transparent Transistors Invented

Picture this: Bright, high-resolution maps displayed on your car's windscreen. Roll-up, see-through computer screens. TV on the lenses of your eye-glasses.

All of these and more are possible with OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) technology, which is already transparent and can be put on bendable materials. But until now, the transistors that control each display's OLED pixels, weren't. An article on Technology Review explains:
Researchers at Purdue University and Northwestern University have now made flexible, see-through transistors using zinc-oxide and indium-oxide nanowires. By contrast, the amorphous or polycrystalline silicon transistors used in existing displays are not transparent. The new transistors also perform better than their silicon counterparts and are easier to fabricate on flexible plastic.
Nanotechnology has again opened new avenues for our accelerating drive into the future.
The nanowire transistors have high electron mobility, which determines how fast the transistor can work and how much current it can carry. In fact, the mobility is a few hundred times better than it is for transistors made from amorphous silicon, which is widely used in the electronics for displays. Because of that, the transistors could be made smaller and faster, Janes says. More-compact transistors, he says, would mean an even larger pixel area. What's more, the nanowire transistors are much easier to make on plastic than silicon transistors are because they don't need high-temperature processing.
As always, stay tuned.

Singularity & The Price of Rice is updated daily; the easiest way to get your daily dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.