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The Future of Organic Electronics. ORGANIC ELECTRONICS.

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Organic electronics

Organic electronics, plastic electronics or polymer electronics, is a branch of electronics that deals with conductive polymers, plastics, or small molecules. It is called 'organic' electronics because the polymers and small molecules are carbon-based, like the molecules of living things. This is as opposed to traditional electronics (or metal electronics) which relies on inorganic conductors such as copper or silicon.


Conductive polymers are lighter, more flexible, and less expensive than inorganic conductors. This makes them a desirable alternative in many applications. It also creates the possibility of new applications that would be impossible using copper or silicon. Organic electronics not only includes organic semiconductors, but also dielectrics, conductors and light emitters.

New applications include smart windows and electronic paper. Conductive polymers are expected to play an important role in the emerging science of molecular computers.

Inorganic vs organic
Inorganic vs. Organic

  • Organic electronics, or plastic electronics, is the branch of electronics that deals with conductive polymers, which are carbon based.

  • Inorganic electronics, on the other hand, relies on inorganic conductors like copper or silicon.

Silicon sample

Carbon sample

Benefits and obstacles
Benefits and Obstacles

  • Organic electronics are lighter, more flexible, and less expensive than their inorganic counterparts.

  • They are also biodegradable (being made from carbon).

  • This opens the door to many exciting and advanced new applications that would be impossible using copper or silicon.

  • However, conductive polymers have high resistance and therefore are not good conductors of electricity.

  • In many cases they also have shorter lifetimes and are much more dependant on stable environment conditions than inorganic electronics would be.

Organic Electronic

$5 / ft2

Low Capital

10 ft x Roll to Roll

Flexible Plastic Substrate

Ambient Processing

Continuous Direct Printing


$100 / ft2

$1-$10 billion

< 1m2

Rigid Glass or Metal

Ultra Clean room

Multi-step Photolithography


Fabrication Cost

Device Size


Required Conditions


Organic light emitting diodes oleds
Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs)

  • An OLED is a thin film LED in which the emissive layer is an organic compound.

  • When this layer is polymeric (or plastic), OLEDs can be deposited in rows and columns on a screen using simple printing methods that are much more efficient than those used in manufacturing traditional LEDs.

  • A key benefit of

    OLEDs is that

    they don’t need

    a backlight to


How it works
How it Works

  • An electron and hole pair is generated inside the emissive layer by a cathode and a transparent anode, respectively.

  • When the electron

    and hole combine,

    a photon is

    produced, which

    will show up as a

    dot of light on the


  • Many OLEDs together on a screen make up a picture

  • Less expensive to produce

  • Wide range of colors and viewing angle

  • Consumes much less energy than traditional LCDs.

  • Flexible and extremely thin

  • Limited lifetime of about 1,000 hours.

  • Susceptible to water

Organic transistors
Organic transistors


    Organic transistors are transistors that use organic molecules rather than silicon for their active material. This active material can be composed of a wide variety of molecules.

  • Advantages of organic transistors:

    • Compatibility with plastic substances

    • Lower temperature is used while manufacturing (60-120°C)

    • Lower cost and deposition processes such as spin-coating, printing and evaporation

  • Disadvantages of organic transistors:

    • Lower mobility and switching speeds compared to

      Si wafers

    • Usually does not operate under invasion mode.

      Example of an organic transistor

      (on the side)

Organic thin film transistors otfts
Organic Thin film transistors(OTFTS)

TFTs are transistors created using thin films, usually of silicon deposited on glass. The deposited silicon must be crystallized using laser pulses at high temperatures. OTFTs active layers can be theramlly evaporated and deposited on any organic substrate (a flexible piece of plastic) at much lower temperatures.

Benefits of an OTFT:

Does not require glass substrate as

amorphous Si does. It could be made

on a piece of plastic.

Manufactured at lower temperatures

Deposition techniques could reduce

costs dramatically.

Challenges involved:

Workarounds for complications with photo resists.

To find organic semiconductors with high enough

mobilities and

switching times.


OTFT technology’s application is diverse. Organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) technology involves the use of organic semiconducting compounds in electronic components, notably computer displays. Such displays are bright, the colors are vivid, they provide fast response times (which need to be developed in OTFT), and they are easy to read in most ambient lighting environments.

EXPLAINATION plastic substrate

Using Nano devices researchers intend to replace the cumbersome UPC barcode that is found on many products and replace it with one of these tags. Scientists are currently working on this technology to apply it to mass checkout at supermarkets, but have several minor obstacles that still must be overcome.

Two of these obstacles are that each individual tag must cost less than one cent, and each RFID must function in the presence of substantial amounts of metal and radio frequency absorbing fluids

Production and applications
Production and Applications plastic substrate

  • Quicker Checkout

  • Inventory Control

  • Reduced Waste

  • Efficient flow of goods from manufacturer to consumer

Production specifications of manufacturing a nano rfid
Production Specifications of Manufacturing a Nano-RFID plastic substrate

  • > 96 bits

  • Four main communication Bands: 135KHz, 13.56MHz, 900MHz, 2.4 GHz

  • Vacuum Sublimation

Meaning Of Vacuum sublimation plastic substrate

Vacuum Sublimation has allowed for excellent performance using small-molecule organic materials, resulting in circuits operating at several megahertz. Each nano-device will consist of 96 bits of information, but may contain more, such as 128 bits.

The operating range for low cost devices will be limited by the power delivery from the reader to each tag. This makes the lower frequencies more appealing because they are better for power coupling. Thus, 13.54MHz looks like the most attractive frequency, however researchers are also considering the frequency at the 900Mhz range also plausible.

Smart textiles

Smart Textiles plastic substrate

Integrates electronic devices into textiles, like clothing

Made possible because of low fabrication temperatures

Has many potential

uses, including:

Monitoring heart-rate

and other vital signs,

controlling embedded

devices (mp3 players),

keep the time…

Lab on a chip

Lab on a Chip plastic substrate

A device that incorporates multiple laboratory functions in a single chip

Organic is replacing some Si fabrication methods:

-Lower cost

-Easier to manufacture

-More flexible

Portable compact screens

Portable, Compact Screens plastic substrate

Black and White prototype already made by Philips(the Readius™ at the bottom-left)

Screens that can roll up into small devices

Color devices will be here eventually

References plastic substrate


  • EE341_Organic_Transistors_Presentation.ppt