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Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices inspired by nature

P Meredith, C J Bettinger, M Irimia-Vladu, A B Mostert, P E Schwenn, Paul Meredith Orcid Logo, Bernard Mostert Orcid Logo

Reports on Progress in Physics, Volume: 76, Issue: 3, Start page: 034501

Swansea University Authors: Paul Meredith Orcid Logo, Bernard Mostert Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Inorganic semiconductors permeate virtually every sphere of modern human existence. Micro-fabricated memory elements, processors, sensors, circuit elements, lasers, displays, detectors, etc are ubiquitous. However, the dawn of the 21st century has brought with it immense new challenges, and indeed o...

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Published in: Reports on Progress in Physics
ISSN: 0034-4885 1361-6633
Published: 2013
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa38484
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Abstract: Inorganic semiconductors permeate virtually every sphere of modern human existence. Micro-fabricated memory elements, processors, sensors, circuit elements, lasers, displays, detectors, etc are ubiquitous. However, the dawn of the 21st century has brought with it immense new challenges, and indeed opportunities—some of which require a paradigm shift in the way we think about resource use and disposal, which in turn directly impacts our ongoing relationship with inorganic semiconductors such as silicon and gallium arsenide. Furthermore, advances in fields such as nano-medicine and bioelectronics, and the impending revolution of the 'ubiquitous sensor network', all require new functional materials which are bio-compatible, cheap, have minimal embedded manufacturing energy plus extremely low power consumption, and are mechanically robust and flexible for integration with tissues, building structures, fabrics and all manner of hosts. In this short review article we summarize current progress in creating materials with such properties. We focus primarily on organic and bio-organic electronic and optoelectronic systems derived from or inspired by nature, and outline the complex charge transport and photo-physics which control their behaviour. We also introduce the concept of electrical devices based upon ion or proton flow ('ionics and protonics') and focus particularly on their role as a signal interface with biological systems. Finally, we highlight recent advances in creating working devices, some of which have bio-inspired architectures, and summarize the current issues, challenges and potential solutions. This is a rich new playground for the modern materials physicist.
College: College of Science
Issue: 3
Start Page: 034501