Are the transistors of the future made of wood?
Some ideas are so original and unusual that the first question that comes to mind is something like but how the hell did he get that into his head. That’s what you might think, for example, when you read about the Swedish researchers who thought it was appropriate a wooden transistor.
Yes, it’s strange, because first we had tubes, then we discovered that silicon could be doped with other materials, and that’s how semiconductors were born. Then we went from diode to transistor and little by little we had to put billion of transistors in a chip a few tens of millimeters in size. Today we know how to do it Transistors barely larger than an atomand sorry if it’s too little.
However, Linköping University in Norrköping and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm are looking for alternative ways to the “usual” semiconductors. Nele learn titled Electric current modulation in electrochemical wood transistors Explain the skills and capabilities of the Electrochemical transistor in wood (WECT) which they recently developed.
Maybe it’s a little funny, but it’s not entirely pointless for at least two good reasons: First, making electronic components with organic materials basically solves that disposal problems. Having a smartphone that lasts 4-5 years and then throwing it in the trash, well, personally I wouldn’t mind. And then the wooden transistor for monitoring and control functions could be easily integrated into existing systems.
Of course, these dreams seem to have to wait for a while: WECT, designed and tested by Swedish researchers, had a diameter of 3 cm and a switching frequency less than a hertz. Not exactly a performance champion, right? But the point is, it works.
That’s an extraordinary result. First del had to be created conductive wood (CW), by removing lignin. Subsequently, the channels in which the lignin was present are replaced with an electron and ion conducting polymer. Then three pieces of CW are assembled to form the three typical elements of the transistor: center channel, top and bottom gate.
Of course, wood won’t be replacing materials like silicon or germanium anytime soon (or late). However, There is considerable potential in this project that could get quite far despite its turtle speed.