An international team of researchers from Japan, Germany, and United States have created a flexible and sterilizable organic transistor that may help make patient monitoring devices easier to implant and integrate with the human body.
The new transistor, which can handle 2 Volts of electricity, can withstand traditional sterilization up to 150 °C without any damage to its electrical properties.
Some details from University of Tokyo:
The team has succeeded in manufacturing on a polymeric film an organic transistor that has high thermal stability and driving voltage of 2V at the same time. The new type organic transistor can be sterilized in a standard sterilization process (150 °C heat treatment) without being deteriorated in its electrical performances. The key to realize heat resistant organic transistor is in the forming technique of an ultrathin insulator film: The team develops a technique to form extraordinarily densely packed self-assembled monolayer (SAM) films, whose thickness is as small as 2 nanometers, on a polymeric film. This allows them to elevate substrate temperature up to 150 °C without creating pinholes through SAM films during the high temperature treatment. It is believed that ultrathin monolayer film like SAM degrades easily by thermal processes; however, it is unexpectedly demonstrated that densely packed SAM is stable at 150 °C or higher. This result is also proved by systematic characterization of crystallographic structures of SAM using a synchrotron radiation beam. Furthermore, by adopting a novel encapsulation layer comprising organic/metal composite materials and extremely thermally stable and high mobility organic semiconductors, the thermal stability of organic transistors is now improved up to 150 °C. It should be benefited more from applying this heat-resistant organic transistor to long term implantable devices, or to some medical devices such as a smart catheter. With these applications, it is expected to broaden the usage of the transistor to medical apparatus such as thin film sensor that will detect tumors, inflammations, and or cancers.
More from University of Tokyo via Nanowerk: The world’s first sterilizable flexible organic transistor for medical applications
Abstract in Nature Communications: Organic transistors with high thermal stability for medical applications