Organic Pigment Could be an Alternative to Silicon-Based Semiconductor Materials

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Researchers found organic pigment as an alternative to silicon-based semiconductor materials, according to a study published on June 5, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers at the Oregon State University. According to the researchers, it is a sustainable, low cost, and easily fabricated substitute for silicon-based semiconductors that are used in electronic or optoelectronic applications.

The technology known as optoelectronics works with the combined use of light and electronics. Solar cells is an example for this technology. Also, xylindein is the pigment that is being used for the study. Xylindien is secreted by two wood-eating fungi in the Chlorociboria genus. A blue-green color stain is formed in any wood that is infected by the fungi. The pigment is very stable that the decorative products existing since half a millennium ago still exhibit its distinctive hue. It holds up against prolonged exposure to heat, ultraviolet light, and electrical stress.

The pigment was found to form non-uniform films with porous irregular structures by using the current fabrication techniques. Researchers blended xylindein with a transparent, non-conductive polymer known as poly (methyl methacrylate). Then, drop-cast solutions of pristine xylindein and xlyindein-PMMA was blended onto the electrodes on a glass substrate for testing. The film structure was improved by the non-conducting polymer without any detrimental effects on electrical properties of xylindein. Moreover, better photosensitivity was exhibited by the blended films.

Oksana Ostroverkhova, physicist at Oregon State University said, “Xylindein will never beat silicon, but for many applications, it doesn’t need to beat silicon. It could work well for depositing onto large, flexible substrates, like for making wearable electronics. It could be the beginning of a whole new class of organic electronic materials.”

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