Computer prediction helps create organic semiconductor material 30x faster than silicon

first_imgCrystal of new organic semiconductor materialIf you look at the display marketplace today then the technology that dominates is LCD. The advances that have cut LCD’s power use, made higher resolutions possible, and improved the blacks produced, have created some rather stunning latest generation TVs, monitors, and tablet/phone screens. They do have one fault, however: they aren’t flexible.In order to develop a flexible display you can’t rely on the materials used for LCD manufacturing such as amorphous silicon. Instead, the problem requires an organic semiconductor capable of coping with being flexed repeatedly. The problem is doubly hard because the organic material chosen needs to be fast and durable enough to move an electric charge around.Developing such a semiconductor takes a long time, several years even, and can still result in a material that just isn’t good enough for use in a display. Researchers at Stanford and Harvard have come up with a solution, though. Not only have they managed to produce a new, suitable organic material, they’ve reduced the development time by years.Usually development of a new organic semiconductors requires you find a base material that has the right properties and then start experimenting with compounds in a bid to increase the speed an electric charge can travel across it. Each compound tried can take years to synthesize, meaning several years before any research produces results.The new approach this research team came up with involved using computer prediction to assess compounds before synthesis begins. The team started with 7 possible solutions, but the predictions highlighted two out of those seven as the strongest candidates. Further predictive work lead one of the remaining two compounds potentially being a much better choice for synthesis.By reducing the candidates down to one relatively quickly using prediction, the development time was obviously cut significantly. The team could focus on synthesis of that compound with their base organic material choice, in this case DNTT. A year and a half later and they had a synthesized organic material to test.Using computer prediction to cut development time is impressive enough, but the new organic material they produced is not just usable, it’s 30x faster than the amorphous silicon used in LCDs, and twice as fast as the parent base material they started with. It’s certainly proof enough their prediction method can produce fast results.The research done means that in future the development of organic materials for use in electronics can be completed at a much more rapid pace. The organic semiconductors now possible using this new material could potentially form the basis for one of the first flexible displays that makes it to market.Read more at Stanfordlast_img