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Scientists have created the world’s first wooden transistor

Prototype of the first wooden transistor – it has a diameter of 3 cm and operates at a frequency of 1 Hz
(photo: PNAS)

Swedish researchers have developed the world’s first wooden transistor. The prototype has a diameter of 3 cm and operates at a frequency of about 1 Hz, but its future development could pave the way for greener electronics.

Scientists from Linköping University and the Royal Stockholm Institute of Technology have published a paper describing the creation, capabilities and potential of a Wood Electrochemical Transistor (WECT) recently developed by the team.

WECT can pave the way for greener and biodegradable electronics. In addition, wood electronics can provide remote control of plants. The created transistor has a diameter of 3 cm and a switching frequency of less than 1 Hz.

“The wooden transistor is slow and bulky, but it works and has a lot of potential for development,” Isak Engqvist, a senior associate professor at Linköping University’s Organic Electronics Laboratory, told Tom’s Hardware about the innovative development.

To create the WECT, the scientists used conductive wood (CW). It is obtained by removing the lignin from wood using a chemical solvent. Subsequently, the channels in which lignin is present are replaced by a polymer with mixed electron-ion conductivity.

Scientists claim to have evidence of the wooden transistor’s functionality
(photo: Linkoping University)

For the purposes of the project, the scientists chose balsa wood (due to the desired internal channel structure) and the conducting polymer PEDOT:PSS. Three segments of the conduction tree were used to construct the WECT: one as the central channel of the transistor and one each as the upper and lower gates.

Researchers claim to have evidence of the switching capabilities of the wooden transistor. They hope that their development will inspire other scientific teams, leading to improvements in the wooden transistor.

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