Researchers at Linköping University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed the world’s first wooden electric transistor. This breakthrough could revolutionize the electronics industry in terms of efficiency and sustainability.
Although wooden transistors have been attempted before, previous experiments could only modulate the transport of ions. The new transistors can function continuously and regulate the flow of electricity without degradation.
The researchers achieved this by using balsa wood with a uniform structure throughout, where they removed the lignin, leaving only long cellulose fibres with grooves. They then filled the grooves with a conductive plastic called PEDOT: PSS, creating a conductive wood. The resulting transistor regulates current and functions continuously at a selected output level.
The new wooden transistor takes about 1 second to switch off and 5 seconds to switch on. Although the channel of the final transistor is large, the researchers say this is an advantage, as it can withstand higher currents than ordinary organic transistors, which could be important in certain future applications.
This breakthrough offers a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional transistor materials. Wood is a renewable resource, and this development could lead to a new wave of sustainable electronics. The research could also lead to further advances in the field of organic electronics.
This development could also significantly impact the electronics industry, which is known for generating a large amount of electronic waste. The traditional materials used in electronics, such as metals and plastics, are non-renewable and non-biodegradable. Using wooden transistors could reduce the environmental impact of the electronics industry.