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Super-flexible, curved displays, foldable phones, wearable electronics coming

Jul. 12, 2023.
1 min. read Interactions

Future foldable, inkjet-printed semiconductors on flexible substrates at low cost now possible

About the Writer

Amara Angelica

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Amara Angelica is Senior Editor, Mindplex

Super-flexible semiconductors for next-gen printed or wearable displays (credit: JYOTI RANJAN PRADHAN)

Scientists in India have developed a super-flexible, composite semiconductor material with possible applications in next-generation flexible or curved displays, foldable phones and wearable electronics.  

The researchers have found a way to fabricate a composite containing a significant amount of polymer—up to 40% of the material weight—using inkjet printing, explains Subho Dasgupta, Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Engineering in the Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc). 

As explained in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, the large quantity of polymer can also make the composite semiconductors highly flexible and foldable without deteriorating performance.  

Innovative inkjet-printing materials

Semiconductor materials are usually fabricated using deposition techniques such as sputtering. Instead, Dasgupta’s team used inkjet printing to deposit their material onto various flexible substrates, ranging from plastics to paper. 

The composite semiconductor is made up of two materials: a water-insoluble polymer such as ethyl cellulose, which provides flexibility; and indium oxide, a semiconductor that brings in excellent electronic transport properties.

Could revolutionize the display industry

In the future, these printed semiconductors could be used to fabricate fully printed and flexible television screens, wearables, and large electronic billboards, alongside printed organic light emitting diode (OLED) display front-ends. These printed semiconductors will be low-cost and easy to manufacture, says Dasgupta.

Citation: Divya, M., Cherukupally, N., Gogoi, S. K., Pradhan, J. R., Mondal, S. K., Jain, M., Senyshyn, A., & Dasgupta, S. Super Flexible and High Mobility Inorganic/Organic Composite Semiconductors for Printed Electronics on Polymer Substrates. Advanced Materials Technologies, 2300256. https://doi.org/10.1002/admt.202300256

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