Electronics of the next generation aim to harmonize with humans
In the 20th century, rapidly advanced semiconductor electronics changed our everyday lives drastically, and contributed to the expansion of our society. This has been achieved by the aggressive down-scaling of silicon devices, which vastly improved the computing speed and storage capacity of modern electronics. Electronics have been the key technology to founding the current advanced information society. However, as the 21st century began, electronics are heading toward a new phase that aims to “harmonize with new environments and humans”, rather than a simple quest after higher computing speeds.
Expectation towards new applications
Within this background, organic materials, which are complementary to conventional inorganic semiconductors, are attracting much attention because of their lightness, softness, and costeffectiveness. Recent researches of organic semiconductors are applied to photoreceptor for electrophotography as well as organic EL devices. However, the aforementioned applications are only a glimpse of vast applicational possibilities of organic semiconductors. As field effect transistors (EFT), whose conductive layers are made with organic semiconductors, are introduced and improved, organic transistors’ lightness, flexibility, and inexpensiveness are drawing more attention.
Thin and flexible electronics will improve the quality of life
Electronics in the next generation are expected to unite harmoniously with human’s inner beings. Measuring environmental information across broad surfaces is a required technique, and large area organic devices are expected to act an important role for this reason. Silicon is superior in high integration, however, its costliness per unit area had been considered a barrier in applying silicon to large area electronics. Our team developed a clear path to resolve this problem by adopting organic semiconductors complementarily. Our “thin and flexible” electronics are in the spotlight, as industry sees our devices as electronics that could CHANGE our future lives. These electronics are expected to introduce novel applications to wide ranges of fields, not only to robotics, but to automobiles and home electronics. We have already started joint researches with several business partners
New electronics for medical and healthcare
Our recent goal is to realize electronics that harmonize with humans by building optic/electron devices with soft and biocompatible materials. Along with this theme, we are aggressively developing applications for medical and healthcare uses. Especially as a medical equipment, we are developing implantable “bio organic device” that visualizes neuron activities. For healthcare use, we are also realizing adhesive-patch sensors which can monitor health conditions for 24 hours from the surface of the skin without impairing the movement of the user. These are only a part of our attempts in sending out novel electronics that unite devices and humans harmoniously.