Team puts paper into heart of printed transistor

Scientists from the New University of Lisbon have created a printed transistor that uses paper as a key part of its structure. Elvira Fortunato and colleagues used paper to act as the dielectric between the gate and channel of a field-effect transistor.

Because the paper layer lies between the two main layers of a transistor, the scientists coined the term “interstrate” for it. “We are using the paper simultaneously as the physical support and dielectric layer. Since we are not using a substrate or superstrate structure, we call it an interstrate,” explained Fortunato.

The team claimed the transistor rivals in electrical performance oxide-based thin film transistors (TFTs) produced on glass or crystalline silicon substrates. The transistor channel material is a zinc-indium-gallium oxide, one of a growing array of transparent semiconductor oxides being investigated around the world.

Fortunato said the paper is untreated and based on virgin stock but that the transistor design also works with recycled paper. These results are to be published in September in IEEE Electron Device Letters.

The Lisbon team is looking to applications in paper displays, smart labels, smart packaging and RFID.

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