POLYmer Electronics Project

Recent advances are turning organic displays into
"one of the hottest new areas in the display field"
Science August 16, 1996, p. 878
The success of organic semiconductor technologies may become a meter for the country's ability to answer the increasing demands that consumers make in the areas of large-area electronics, lightweight displays, and portable computing. In fact, these two items threaten to merge together in the not too distant future. In the most likely scenario, consumers will demand lightweight displays that contain not only the display but also integrate the computing and input/output circuitry onto one or both sides of a single substrate, such as a piece of glass or plastic.
NEW APPLICATIONS and TEACHING TOOLS: Semiconducting polymers are not only finding numerous new applications, but they will also make excellent tools to teach students about semiconductor device concepts and fabrication.
SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE TECHNOLOGY: A display consists of a film of semiconducting polymer(s) sandwiched between two electrodes. Polymer LED fabrication usually begins with a transparent and insulating substrate coated with a transparent conductor. A spin coating step is used to deposit one or more polymer layers onto the substrate. After transfer into a vacuum chamber, the top metal electrode is applied using a vacuum evaporation process.
PLANS FOR POLYMER ELECTRONICS LAB: An equipment grant from the National Science Foundation (ECS-9702320) provided the first fabrication equipment, a vacuum evaporator and a glovebox to protect air sensitive materials. Characterization equipment is also necessary to measure the electrical properties of the completed devices current as a function of voltage and the amount of light emitted. A Cal Poly Plan Project began during Summer Quarter 1998 to assemble and install a test system for this purpose. A new NSF project (ECS-9820781) began in June 1999.
If you're INTERESTED, please contact Braun by e-mail.
  • The Lab
  • A Polymer LED
  • LED Geometry
  • LED Data
  • Lab Manual
  • EE 422
  • David Braun, Electrical Engineering
  • Ron Brown, Physics
  • Mark Cooper, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Robert Echols, Physics
  • Kevin Kingsbury, Chemistry
  • Linda Vanasupa, Materials Engineering
    Alan Heeger, Alan MacDiarmid, and Hideki Shirakawa
    were selected "for the discovery and development of conductive polymers."
    [ Braun's Home Page | E-mail | Schedule | Courses | Polymer Electronics | Sr. Projects ]
    This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 9702320 and 9820781.
    "Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."
    The project has also received materials from Covion Organic Semiconductors and support from National Instruments Corporation and Ocean Optics, Inc.