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Nat Mater. 2007 May;6(5):357-62. Epub 2007 Apr 4.

Towards woven logic from organic electronic fibres.

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Biomolecular and Organic Electronics, IFM, Center of Organic Electronics, Linköpings Universitet, S 581 83 Linköping, Sweden.


The use of organic polymers for electronic functions is mainly motivated by the low-end applications, where low cost rather than advanced performance is a driving force. Materials and processing methods must allow for cheap production. Printing of electronics using inkjets or classical printing methods has considerable potential to deliver this. Another technology that has been around for millennia is weaving using fibres. Integration of electronic functions within fabrics, with production methods fully compatible with textiles, is therefore of current interest, to enhance performance and extend functions of textiles. Standard polymer field-effect transistors require well defined insulator thickness and high voltage, so they have limited suitability for electronic textiles. Here we report a novel approach through the construction of wire electrochemical transistor (WECT) devices, and show that textile monofilaments with 10-100 mum diameters can be coated with continuous thin films of the conducting polythiophene poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), and used to create micro-scale WECTs on single fibres. We also demonstrate inverters and multiplexers for digital logic. This opens an avenue for three-dimensional polymer micro-electronics, where large-scale circuits can be designed and integrated directly into the three-dimensional structure of woven fibres.

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