At least 15 years ago, this reporter witnessed a prototype computer display made up of lightweight fabric which could be folded up and kept in a user's pocket or handbag when not in use. Finally, scientists have found a way to make that technology commercially feasible.
After that first prototype, no more was heard about that particular techhology, despite the increasing miniaturisation and portability of all other types of hardware.
Now, scientists att the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and the Universities of Stuttgart and Erlangen have harnessed organic transistors with low energy consumption to make the dream a reality.
They have constructed complementary circuits from organic transistors characterised by low supply voltages and low consumption values.
These energy-saving electronic components consist of two different transistor types and the new organic electronic components can be operated with significantly lower voltages than previous organic circuits – voltages, such as those supplied by normal household batteries from 1.5 to 3 volts.
Transistors made from organic materials have an advantage over normal silicon transistors in that they can be constructed on flexible surfaces, such as plastic film. Until now, however, they have consumed too much energy – an obstacle that has now been overcome.