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The World’s First Sterilizable Flexible Organic Transistors

The University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announced on 6th March 2012 that an international research team led by Professor Takao Someya has succeeded in manufacturing the world’s first flexible organic transistor on a polymeric film.

This organic transistor is robust under high temperature medical sterilization processes. The high thermal stability of the gate layer was confirmed by a cooperative structural analysis using a synchrotron radiation beam at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s (BNL) Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS).

The study is reported in BNL News and published online in Nature Communications on 6th March 2012*. This research is carried out as an ERATO Project of JST.

In a serious aging society with a declining birth rate, electronics are increasing their importance in health and medical areas. On this background, the expectation is getting higher on a flexible organic transistor, which is a soft electronic switch.

Manufacturing of a flexible transistor on a bio- compatible polymeric film is not too difficult. For practical implementation, however, high temperature stability and low operating voltages are challenging problems with the best match of its softness and bio-compatibility.

The international research team has succeeded in manufacturing an organic transistor on a polymeric film that has a high thermal stability up to 150°C or higher and the low driving voltage of 2 V with high mobility of 1.2 cm2V−1s−1 at the same time. The new type organic transistor can be sterilized in a standard sterilization process (150°C heat treatment).

The key technology to realize the heat resistant organic transistor with low driving voltage is the development of a new insulating film comprising an ultra-thin (--2 nm) and densely packed layer named self-assembled monolayer (SAM).

Research team seems to expect such applications as long implantable devices and some medical devices like a smart catheter, and thin film medical sensors.

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