Tighter Lattice Improves Organic Semiconductors
Organic semiconductors have so much going for them as they can allow for electronics flexible enough to exist in clothing and can be printed like newspapers. They do have one rather critical flaw though; they don’t conduct electricity very well. However, researchers at the Stanford School of Engineering have found a way to improve conductivity by as much as 11 times.
Making organic semiconductors involves growing crystals in a pattern. The researchers have found it is possible to pack more molecules into the lattice structure, which is what leads to the increased conductance. Creating strained lattices like this are not unheard of, but previous attempts involving organic semiconductors have never succeeded like this.
The new technique uses a solution shearing process with two metal plates. The lower plate heats the solution while the top plate floats on top. As the trailing edge of the top plate reveals the solution, it reacts with a vaporized solvent to grow crystals. The researchers found they could control the pattern of the crystals by varying the speed of the top plate, with the optimal result being an 11 fold increase over traditional organic semiconductors.