Transparent Electronics (Invisible electronics) – Mode of Working, Uses and Benefits
Transparent electronics (Invisible electronics) is a leading technology that will produce invisible electronics circuit and optoelectronics devices. Applications of Transparent electronics include consumer electronics, new energy sources, Civilian, military uses and transportation. For example, Navigation display for military.
Scientific goals of Transparent electronics technology are,
- Discover, understand and implement transparent high performance electronics materials
- Implementation and evaluation in transistor and circuit structure
Transparent electronics was introduced by Toshiba in 1988 by the discovery of NAND flash non-volatile memory . In 2003 researchers of oregon state university(OSU) created a transparent transistor. Also a computer chip was fabricated in December,2008 by a group of scientists at Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technologies.
Types of transparent electronic devices
The main transparent electronic devices are Transparent UV detector and Transparent Thin Film Transistors(TTFTs).
Transparent Thin Film Transistors are made by depositing thin films of semiconductor active layer as well as the dielectric layer and a metallic contact over a supporting subtract. The challenge for producing Transparent electronics and opto electronic circuits is that the transistor should promote high performance with minimal fabrication. It should also have a good mobility and the potential for the device to function.
A typical conductor that can improve the mobility of this transistors are single – walled – carbon nano tubes with p type( holes are the majority carriers and electrons are the minority carriers) port behavior for the system. This will also provide Efficiency, Mechanical Flexibility and Optical Progression for the device.
Transparent Oxides semiconductor(TOS) based transistors are proposed by using active channel intrinsic Zinc oxides(ZnO). TTFTs using TOSs as the channel layer have several merits compared with conventional Si-TFTs when applied to flat panel displays. In addition to that oxide TFTs has potential advantages over semiconductor-based TFTs in terms of their high voltage gain, heat dissipation, and radiation tolerances.
2. Transparent UV detector
Transparent UV detector contain a pn-junction of a wide band gap semiconductor. It is helpful for detecting UV radiation intensity. A transparent UV-detector was fabricated by using a high quality pn-heterojunction diode composed of ptype NiO: Li and n-type ZnO and its UV response measured at room temperature.
Applications of Transparent electronics are,
1. OLED display
There are seven type of OLED, they are Transparent OLED, Top-emitting OLED , Foldable OLED, White OLED, Passive-matrix OLED (PMOLED) and Active-matrix OLED (AMOLED). The plastic, organic layers of an OLED are thinner, lighter, and flexible.
OLEDs are easier to produce and can be made to larger sizes. Because OLEDs are essentially plastics, they can be made into large, thin sheets. It is much more difficult to grow and lay down so many liquid crystals
2. Navigation display for military
It is one of the progressing application of transparent electronics regarding to the security of nation. Using navigation display soldiers can see real-time video and graphics information. It must be full colored and of high information content. This can be provided using organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs).
3. Transparent solar panel
Transparent solar cells can turn everyday products like windows and electronic devices into power generators—without altering how they look or function. It consist of two different transparent coating, one to conduct electricity via electron(n-type), another electron hole that enables electricity flow(p-type). The n-type transparent material can be fabricated but p-type material is problematic to design.
The transparent electronic devices in the market have many challenges to overcome in order to capture the market like current apps for transparent electronics are quite primitive. This basic research is opening the door to new types of electronic circuits that, when deposited onto glasses, are literally invisible.