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Transparent Transistors Printed On Paper

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the next-step-dispoable-eink dept.

Science 51

MTorrice writes "To make light-weight, inexpensive electronics using renewable materials, scientists have turned to a technology that is almost 2,000 years old: paper. Researchers fabricated organic transistors on a transparent, exceptionally smooth type of paper called nanopaper. This material has cellulose fibers that are only 10 nm in diameter. The nanopaper transistors are about 84% transparent, and their performance decreases only slightly when bent."

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51 comments

2000 year old tech (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794921)

"technology that is almost 2,000 years old: paper."

Call me when they can use ePaper to do it.

Re:2000 year old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794979)

Moron. I'm pretty sure your only interest is in rolling paper.

Re:2000 year old tech (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795011)

Moron. I'm pretty sure your only interest is in rolling paper.

If it keeps joints from "canoeing" I'm all for this transparent transistors rolling paper technology.

Re:2000 year old tech (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795255)

It is futile to resistor.
Seriously, why don't we just go ahead and print with gasoline.
Paper burns pretty easily and I'd hate to see a processor printed on paper trying to render a 3d scene.
I'm guessing a lot less would start a fire.
How about peel and stick sheet of transistors so it could be transferred to something a bit less volatile.

Re:2000 year old tech (3, Insightful)

codeButcher (223668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795289)

Apparently (from TFA) the purpose for printing on a transparent substrate has to do with creating light-emitting display technology (from cheap, renewable resources, with a low recycling impact). So, probably much less transistor-dense than your great balls of fire GPU.

Re:2000 year old tech (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798967)

It's actually pretty hard to make paper burn with just heat. Unless you add a flame (An ongoing reaction.) your average GPU will melt long before the paper ignites.
There are of course plenty of different type of papers. For example the paper used in surge resistant capacitors is pretty durable.

Re:2000 year old tech (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795749)

Moron. I'm pretty sure your only interest is in rolling paper.

How do you keep the paper cool?

If the paper is nearly transparent, then could you have a 3D display?

fpga (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794975)

It will be nice when we could print designs once made for fpga.

How it's done... (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795327)

>|

They'll need different Unicode characters to go from TTL to CMOS. Using those, they can build FPGAs.

Is it Green or is it Transparent? (4, Funny)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794991)

The nanopaper transistor also showed excellent optical transmittance up to 83.5%. The device configuration can be applied to many other semiconductor materials toward flexible green electronics.

This is confusing. Is it green or is it transparent? Maybe it's a light green. Just make up your mind.

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795023)

Haven't you ever heard of colorless green ideas? I hear they don't sleep well.

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795261)

The nanopaper transistor also showed excellent optical transmittance up to 83.5%. The device configuration can be applied to many other semiconductor materials toward flexible green electronics.

This is confusing. Is it green or is it transparent? Maybe it's a light green. Just make up your mind.

From TFA:

Only a 10% decrease in mobility was observed when the nanopaper transistors were being bent.

Well, one fact is certain: the paper transistor is very much like a crocodile [hu-berlin.de] , as it is more flexible than it is green (it's 90% flexible and at most 16.5% green).

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796861)

What's green and smells? Kermit's bum.

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804445)

What's brown and sticky? A stick.

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795309)

Green as in biodegradable, surely.

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795653)

Have you ever seen a wine bottle? Both green and transparent.

Re:Is it Green or is it Transparent? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796671)

If you think it is confusing, you should see who created the nanopaper transistor. It's the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

Oh wait, you won't see her either.

cellulose fibers (-1, Offtopic)

Rosesya Qeela (2833341) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794995)

Cellulose is the primary structural component of plants, so we call plant material fibers 'cellulose fibers'.... http://x.co/sfEV [x.co]

Re:cellulose fibers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795617)

FROM GOOGLE+

2000 year old? (4, Insightful)

dabadab (126782) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795021)

That is certainly a lot more modern, than silicone, which is about 14 billion years old.

Could we skip this bullshit? This nanopaper most certainly don't have too much in common with the paper made 2000 years ago.

Re:2000 year old? (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795131)

which may be due to the large binding energy between polymer dielectric and cellulose nanopaper

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus [wikipedia.org]

papyrus is stable, formed as it is of highly rot-resistant cellulose

Paper can cut. Facts can hurt those who are ignorant and arrogant.

Re:2000 year old? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795221)

which may be due to the large binding energy between polymer dielectric and cellulose nanopaper

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus [wikipedia.org]

papyrus is stable, formed as it is of highly rot-resistant cellulose

Paper can cut. Facts can hurt those who are ignorant and arrogant.

No shit, Watson! [wikipedia.org]

(just in case you wonder what's the relevance of the article I linked: the same relevance papyrus has for nanopaper. And that's a fact. Does it hurt you?)

Re:2000 year old? (2)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795565)

Papyrus is not paper. Paper making requires putting short fibers pulped in water, spreading the pulp, pressing and drying it. Papyrus on the other hand is created by weaving Papyrus grass.

Re:2000 year old? (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795375)

Silicon. Not silicone. Silicone is a polymer compound of silicon and oxygen, commonly used as a sealant.

Re:2000 year old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795515)

Hahahah silicone haahahah

Re:2000 year old? (1)

noelhenson (691861) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795839)

Dude,

Silicone: (^)(^)
Silicon: sand and computer chips.

Re:2000 year old? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796709)

Silicone: ( . )( . ) implants
Silicon: computer chips to render 3D virtual ( . )( . )

FTFY

Re:2000 year old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42800879)

Silicon goes in computers. Silicone goes in what most people use computers for.

wiping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795165)

can this newfangled technology help me when wiping my ass? can it increase the surface-to-shit ratio?

What happens if you overclock them . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795209)

. . . do you end up with a raging fire . . . ?

Re:What happens if you overclock them . . . ? (2)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795571)

. . . do you end up with a raging fire . . . ?

I think Boing is using batteries for that

Re:What happens if you overclock them . . . ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795693)

It simplifies implementation of the HCF instruction.

TFA (4, Interesting)

codeButcher (223668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795263)

I've read the fine article, and it might not be immediately clear from the summary that the breakthrough here is not the transistor per se - the important step was in using the "nanopaper" (which is tech that is in fact NOT 2KA old).

And while the nanopaper may be biodegradable, I am wondering about the carbon nanotubes they are printing on top (as conductors). While the toxicity of carbon nanotubes is still being studied, there are good indications that they might behave similar to asbestos fibres. So not something you would necessarily want to throw on your compost heap.

Re:TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795355)

> While the toxicity of carbon nanotubes is still being studied, there are good indications that they might behave similar to asbestos fibres

When shown to be true, this of course severely limits the applicability of CNTs. However, being 100% carbon (or near 100% if doped) means it should at least be possible to incinerate them cleanly. So all is not lost.

Re:TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42807429)

Carbon nanotubes have been with us since we first controlled fire.

Grant writing time! (4, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795353)

Yes. Thank you for all coming today. I have here, in my hand, a new type of transistor that I have printed on this ORDINARY piece of paper. ...
What?
Of course you cant see them - they're transparent. ...
Do they work? Of course they do, and Jimmy here has a nice computer simulation of the process. ...
No, of course we can't demonstrate on the real thing, we still have to work out the interconnects and external interface, but trust me - they're on here. ...
Yes, I have printed what is essentially invisible transistors on this paper, and it will change the world. I just need a few million dollars in funding to help me work out some of the critical issues.

Absurd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795381)

Really, bendable and transparent? I want my transistors fast and low power. It's just becoming silly.

Scientists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42795533)

Scientists huh!

More grist for Hallmark's gift card mill (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795649)

Looks like we'll be watching and trying not to hear poor renditions of happy birthday in the not too distant future.

Rewing the wrong things (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795679)

Why do these renewable fanatics (not neccessarily these scientists, maybe the journos reporting this) always pick on the wrong things to renew. Looking around things that are manufactured - and discarded - the weight of transistors cannot constitute even 0.0001% of it all.

Why don't the greenies pick on something like the fact that many people rip out and replace their bathrooms and kitchens and general furniture every five years.

Unfortunately, making things "renewable", and hence compromising their robustness and lifetime, leads into a downward spiral in which people have to replace things frequently, leading to even more waste of material and energy, notwithstanding their "renewabilty". A transistor made of paper - who the heck is going to sit there at the end of its life and pick off the paper to recycle it? I think that even the up-country Chinese 8-year-olds who normally do this work will draw the line at that.

Re:Rewing the wrong things (1)

volmtech (769154) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796633)

I guess i"m not "many people". Here I sit on a 32 year old kitchen chair at my 32 year old kitchen table. I did remodel my bathroom ten years ago because the floor rotted out from all the water my kids splashed out of the tub. Today I'm going over to my cousin's house to redo his kitchen floor. Fifty six years of wear and Florida humidity have left the flooring to weak to support his 400 lbs. Did I mention that after 40 years of farm work and over the road truck driving both of us are wore out and on disability?

Re:Rewing the wrong things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796741)

Your cousin is extremely overweight. Seriously.

Re:Rewing the wrong things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42806949)

Also, Jack Lalanne. Any time I hear some lazy piece of crap blame their age for them being fat and worn out, I remind them that Jack Lalanne lived to 96 and was in fantastic shape until the day he died.

Re:Rewing the wrong things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42797683)

Looking around things that are manufactured - and discarded - the weight of transistors cannot constitute even 0.0001% of it all.

You would have to compare the amount of crap generated in the manufacturing process, which would be a lot more than the transistor itself. There is waste in the manufacturing of furniture too, although some of it is not so bad as others, e.g. wood scrap versus leftover chemicals from making foam.

Cool! (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42795779)

Now we can see electrons diffusing along the mesa, falling into holes and being swept away by an avalanche!

Illiterations are fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42796045)

Tongue Twisters Picked A Pepper.

Re:Illiterations are fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42801365)

Aliteration, not illiteration, you aliterate.

videos on milk cartons (1)

Hagaric (2591241) | about a year and a half ago | (#42796383)

are now a step closer..

perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798319)

This will be ideal for folding at home.

hmm I wonder how they perform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42798527)

when they get wet? regular paper does not fair so well :)

Deju Viu Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803557)

We got this news from another source almost eight years ago. Reporters love the idea of flexible screens and circuits. Strangely, I can't think of much need and the previous several inventions have obviously been totally forgotten. File this with flying cars, which are re-invented every 10 years. Nobody wants drunken Phil from down the street flying a car over their house. Nobody really wants a floppy TV screen.

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