Xerox Corp. spends about $1 billion a year on research and development, gambling that it can predict the future of IT. Not surprisingly, most of the research is dedicated to the Stamford, Conn., company's core business: copiers and printers. But the results can range far afield from Xerox's traditional photocopiers.
At a New York event sponsored by Xerox's Innovation Group this month, a Xerox fellow, Beng Ong, presented a jet-printed plastic transistor that had been made with polythiophene-based, semiconductive polymer ink. Because plastic transistors can be fabricated using standard printing processes, they are much cheaper to manufacture than silicon transistors, Ong said.
The transistor may make it possible to create lightweight, flexible electric paper and portable posterlike monitors and television screens. Plastic chips can't match silicon in speed or size, but they could ultimately be used to create cheaper large-area devices such as flat-panel and flexible displays and low-end microelectronics such as RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags, said Ong.
News source: eWeek