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‘Atomically fine’ transistors could help make electronic skins a reality

Electronic leather it will become really practical only if it is thin enough to be practically unobservable, and scientists would have just provided that finding. Stanford researchers have developed a new technique that produces “atomically thin” transistors under 100 nanometers in length. It’s “several times” shorter than the previous best, according to the university.

The team realized the fact by overcoming a long-standing hurdle in flexible technology. While ‘2D’ semiconductors are ideal, they need so much heat to make them melt flexible plastic. The new approach covers glass-coated silicon with a super-thin semiconductor film (molybdenum disulfide) superimposed with nano-patterened gold electrodes. This produces a film only three atoms thick using a temperature close to 1,500F – the conventional plastic substrate would deform around 680F.

Once the components have cooled, the team can apply the film to the substrate and take a few “additional fabrication steps” to create a healthy structure about five microns thick, or one-tenth the thickness of the hair. humans. It is also ideal for low power use, because it can handle high currents at low voltages.

There is more work to be done. Researchers want to simultaneously refine flexible technology and include wireless technology that allows networking without cumbersome hardware. This also ignores the usual challenges with technology like this – inventors needed to find a way to mass-produce these transistors at reasonable prices. If successful, however, this could lead to highly efficient e-skins, plants and other flexible devices that are almost imperceptible.

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