Transistors of all shapes and sizes form the foundation of just about every electronic gadget under the sun, and similarly, cotton clothing is a key component of a well-rounded wardrobe. It was only a matter of time before these two got together to form a fashion-forward future, and an international team of scientists have accomplished the trick by creating a transistor using fibers of cotton.
Now, this isn’t the first organic transistor, but cotton’s plentiful, cheap, lightweight and sustainable nature make it a great choice for use as a substrate in carbon-based transistors. To get the fluffy white stuff ready to amplify and switch electric signals, it was conformally coated (to cover all the fiber’s irregularities) with gold nanoparticles, semiconductive and conductive polymers in a super thin layer to preserve its wearability flexibility. The result was an active transistor that can be used in integrated circuits sewn into your shirt, socks, or even pantaloons, if you like.
The future of fashion is right around the corner, folks, and in that future your pants are the PC.
Read the full study, co-authored by Cornell fiber scientist Juan Hinestroza, at Cornell’s Website.