Organic semiconductor material could enable truly flexible displays

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Researchers in the US have developed a new high speed organic semiconductor material which they believe could enable devices like the iPad to be rolled up and placed in a users pocket just like a paper magazine.

The organic material, which was developed using a new predictive approach, is said to be 30 times faster than the amorphous silicon currently used for today's lcd's. The Stanford and Harvard University researchers began by experimenting with a material known as DNTT, which had previously been shown to be a good organic semiconductor. They then considered various compounds possessing chemical and electrical properties that seemed likely to enhance the parent material's performance if they were attached. Using the expected chemical and structural properties of the modified materials, the Harvard team found that one material in particular was markedly faster in passing charge from molecule to molecule. "It would have taken several years to both synthesise and characterise all seven candidate compounds," said lead researcher Alán Aspuru-Guzik, an associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard. "With this approach, we were able to focus on the most promising candidate with the best performance, as predicted by theory. This is a rare example of truly 'rational' design of new high performance materials." The researchers hope their predictive approach will serve as a blueprint for other research groups working to find a better material for organic semiconductors. They are now looking to apply the method to the development of high efficiency materials for organic solar cells.