Abhiram Karuppur, 2019, Chemical and Biological Engineering

In this internship, I investigated the effect of different solvent-vapors on the electronic characteristics of organic thin-film transistors. Transistors are analogous to electrical switches, and they are used in a wide variety of electronic devices, such as computers and phones. Today’s transistors are made out of inorganic materials, like metals, that are very brittle and have a negative environmental impact when disposed of. I was researching whether transistors made out of organic compounds, which have a lower environmental impact, could perform at the same level as the inorganic transistors. I was able to demonstrate some interesting properties of the organic transistors, including how the electrical properties of the organic transistors can be changed just by exposure to a solvent-vapor. Organic transistors can also be embedded into flexible material, like clothing or plastic, in order to create a flexible electronic device. If the organic transistors are shown to have a similar/better performance when compared to inorganic transistors, then these organic transistors can replace the inorganic ones in current electronic devices and can also be used in up-and-coming technologies, such as solar panels.