Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
A flexible transistor is an innovative design that is able to be rolled up, curled or bent. It is different from normal transistors which are rigid and cannot be used in a physically flexible manner. Flexible transistors make it possible to develop flexible displays and other hardware components like flexible keyboards. The idea for flexible transistors was first put forth by Cherie Kagan, a scientist from IBM. A combination of an inorganic semiconductor and an organic material is what gives the flexibility in structure to flexible transistors.
A transistor is made of a semiconductor material that can conduct electricity and thus, helps in boosting or switching electronic signals and electrical power. Transistors are the fundamental component of every electronic system. The size and packaging of transistors have varied greatly since their first use. Flexible transistors are the newest innovation that allows the transistors to be handled like a paper or a flexible sheet.
Unlike traditional transistors, flexible transistors can be bent, rolled, curled and used in a flexible manner. This allows the development of new models of devices which can also be made flexible.
Flexible transistors are made by a combination of an inorganic semiconductor material and an organic material. The organic material modulates the structure of the transistor, thus making flexibility possible at room temperature. The most commonly used organic material is phenethylammonium and the inorganic material is tin iodide. A wise combination of these materials where they are combined in separate layers can be done to create a very thin coating of transitors. The transistor coating can even be made thinner than a human hair.
Using flexible transistors will eliminate the current need for the high-temperature processing and the subsequent need for high-temperature-resistant transistor materials. They can also be used to replace the silicon used in computer displays. This technology can also give rise to foldable portable computers and electronic devices.