Vertical electrochemical transistor pushes wearable electronics forward
January 19, 2023
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A transdisciplinary Northwestern University research team has developed a revolutionary transistor that is expected be ideal for lightweight, flexible, high-performance bioelectronics.
The electrochemical transistor is compatible with blood and water and can amplify important signals, making it especially useful for biomedical sensing. Such a transistor could enable wearable devices for onsite signal processing, right at the biology-device interface. Potential applications include measuring heartbeat and levels of sodium and potassium in blood as well as eye motion for studying sleep disorders.
“All modern electronics use transistors, which rapidly turn current on and off,” said Tobin J. Marks, a co-corresponding author of the study. “Here we use chemistry to enhance the switching. Our electrochemical transistor takes performance to a totally new level. You have all the properties of a conventional transistor but far higher transconductance (a measure of the amplification it can deliver), ultra-stable cycling of the switching properties, a small footprint that can enable high density integration, and easy, low-cost fabrication.”
Marks is a world leader in the fields of materials science and organic electronics. He is the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of materials science and engineering and chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering.