European research projects dubbed ILO and OLAS are coming up with more efficient ways to generate light from carbon-based plastic films about a micron in thickness. The result is a multifunctional field-effect transistor able to generate light. The results are being called an international benchmark for the photonic field-effect heterojunction approach.
“We demonstrated the first fully integrated fabrication of a heterojunction device where you had a field-effect structure with a photonic cavity embedded,” reveals Michele Muccini from CNR, Italy and project coordinator of both ILO and OLAS.
“Using transistors instead of external sources allows you to greatly increase the efficiency of light generation and extraction. You expend much less energy driving devices because they are not only efficient but made from disposable organic material which is compatible with other platforms made from other material like silicon or glass,” says Muccini.
“We are proposing work to integrate our new structure into lab-on-a-chip
devices for biomedical diagnostic purposes,” he says. “What this would eventually mean to a doctor on the ground is the development of an affordable, portable, disposable device able to screen for a number of illnesses.
Muccini points out that the potential applications are much broader than this; they stretch to any device, such as mobile phones and laptop PCs, where using less energy to generate light would increase battery life. The devices would also be cheaper to build.
The OLAS site is here: