back to article Bipolar transistors made from organic materials for the first time

Scientists in Germany claim to have developed bipolar transistors from organic materials, opening a path for flexible and transparent electronics. The study, led by Shu-Jen Wang, post-doctoral researcher Technische Universität Dresden, built an organic bipolar junction transistor using doped rubrene. That could help the …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The first step to a really wearable computer.

    1. sreynolds Silver badge

      Or one that can really go up in smoke.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Kinda assuming I really want to wear a computer.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Gatekeeping

    Have you noticed that they research these technologies with big corporations in mind?

    Where is the research for building transistors or chips at home?

    These technologies have huge impact on our lives and only a few corporations are "holding the chips".

    I think broader range of population needs access to the means of production.

    It's particularly funny that these Unis brand themselves as "woke" and "progressive" and yet they don't deliver anything for proletariat, despite taking tax payer money.

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Gatekeeping

      I mean, the technology does exist for the hobbyist, to a certain degree. I was playing with acid-etching and UV lithography (i think, it's been a while) to create PCBs when I was still in school. The only general difference between that and the manufacturing of silicone chips is scale, and the huge number of problems that come with that.

      Issues start with acquiring and using the silicone wafers, which are fragile, have to be of a very specific chemical makeup and have to be handled in a clean room. Even without getting any further into the manufacturing process (which coincidently is where my ignorance kicks in), those requirements make it pretty impractical to do without a dedicated lab, which is way out of the scope of the general population.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Gatekeeping

        That's my point. They don't make an effort so that someone could etch a chip in their garden shed.

        It used to be that a computer would be the size of a building, now everyone has it in their pocket.

        Nobody said that oh the computers are so big, they are out of scope of the general population. Move along.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gatekeeping

          "They don't make an effort so that someone could etch a chip in their garden shed."

          What do you mean by "etch a chip"?

          Cutting shaped into raw potato fries and using them to make patterns on paper, with ink or paint, at the bottom of one's garden is totally possible.

          If on the other hand you're talking about some fantasy about creating advanced deep sub-micron tecnology in a garden shed then that's just a lack of understanding of technology and how it's created.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Gatekeeping

            The same could be said 50 years ago about building a computer in your shed.

            Not sure why there is so much resistance here? Are you being afraid of people building their own chips?

            What do you mean by "etch a chip"?

            Photolitography

            I get that currently there are some nasty chemicals involved in the process, but there seems to be no research on how to make it safe or use alternative processes.

            For instance we are not making a fuss about increasingly more people carrying a car load of lithium and other chemicals, because it has been developed so that it is relatively safe.

            Could we have a chip printer in the future? When you insert a wafer and self-contained device etches your design, cuts it up and wraps in a desired package?

            1. jmch Silver badge

              Re: Gatekeeping

              I get where you're coming from, but really, it's a complexity issue. Any chip doing anything remotely useful is insanely complex for an individual to just knock up a design.

              Let's assume someone developed a 3d chip printer that could create the chips you want out of stable, safe and cheap materials... Such a printer would still not be able to operate on the nanometer scales required. You could end up (at the very best, I would guess) with something that could print the equivalent of an 8088 processor that would be as big as an A4 paper, and that's if you could download some schematic from somewhere or you had a very advanced degree and many years' experience in microelectronics.

              While there might be a handful of hobbyists around who might be both interested and technically capable, it's not worth anyone' research to spend literally billions of dollars to come with a hobbyist device with a market in the 4-5 digits.

            2. NiteDragon

              Re: Gatekeeping

              In all honesty universities don't call themselves woke normally - in the rare times they do it's to poke fun at the right wingers who hate education/research in those times between having their life saved by vaccines, hospital treatments, drugs invariably using telecommunications networks and tiny computers to tweet about it over the world wide web.

              There is always research going on in improvements to process - it might not be 'high profile' but it is there.

              Tax money... Yeah, that's a can of worms, depending on your country the headline figures shown in the papers are there to make a point - once that's split 'per university' and then via departments and courses (considered of value) - not a lot of that is really going to research.

              The majority of research funding tends to be private or directed by a 3rd party to solve a specific problem.

              There are further political pressures in all countries - suffice it to say, the governments of the world would rarely back making the lives of hobbyists easier (Certainly not the current one in my country).

              Currently, as you've identified (and as mentioned elsewhere in replies) - there are some really nasty chemicals involved in fabrication processes, frequently other things you can't get unless you're a lab with good reason and then things like rare earth materials to change the properties of materials in tiny ways. In domestic markets there'd always be the fun of someone dumping the left overs down the drain or in the normal waste - some of this stuff survives water filtration, so that'd be fun for all the family.

              In short, it's not quite as simple as Universities 'gate keeping' the tech - you'll find a lot of gatekeepers, most of them for a good reason (currently).

              3D printing of electronics is already a research target (primary application in space and future long distance exploration). So someday yes - it's likely chips will be printable if they are not already... Whether those chips still use materials that are restricted is somewhat partially down to the audience for it all (more research will be done if it's something everyone wants to do, that's how capitalism works) - but we can all hope we can someday, it's just not today.

              1. Denarius Silver badge

                Re: Gatekeeping

                woke? poke fun ? oxymoron.

            3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: Gatekeeping

              Not sure why there is so much resistance here? Are you being afraid of people building their own chips?
              The resistance here is due to the fact that many people here are realistic.

              For example, even nanometre component production in the scale of 100s of nanometres is something that requires a huge investment in very precise technology just to make the mask, let alone to run a suitably calibrated and powerful EM radiation source to use it, starting with high intensity UV at the bare minimum, and this is before one has to consider the purity of the target material (silicon wafer), the technologies used to make this impure in a controlled way (doping) and the distinctly very horrible chemicals used in the process... all without contaminants - these factories make medical operating theatres look very dirty.

              This doesn't mean that we wouldn't want to see more home grown technology, and I'm sure that to an extent some of it will bubble through eventually, but there are limits. Just like how you won't be building your rocket ship to Mars, but relatively small numbers of private individuals are experimenting with rockets... but none have orbited yet.

              1. Denarius Silver badge

                Re: Gatekeeping

                not afraid, puzzled. What problem are you suggesting be solved ? Do you realise that there are only 300 people approximately world wide able to create and modify chip designs ? Sure there are a few Open designs and rumours of software to assist in changing designs, outside of Intel. Fine, but how many hobbiests understand what could be changed and know enough to do it. Lastly, why bother ? Some firm, somewhere will have a chip or chips that can be put together to do what is needed if it cant be done effectively in software or, for the the deep geek, programmable field gate arrays.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Gatekeeping

              Creating integrated silicon microelectronics is science based technology. And need vast amounts of cash to create facilities, equipment and materials.

              It is not magic that you just have to wave your hands and say a few incantations.

              The Wiki you reference leaves out a huge amount of details required for current generation lithography.

              OPC, Dual patterning, phase shift masks. And that short list is far from exhaustive.

              And that is why your "garden shed" approach is just nonsense.

            5. wh4tever
              Boffin

              Re: Gatekeeping

              Not sure if you're trolling or just really far out of your depth, but you seem to have no clue what's involved in modern chip design and manufacturing, and a severe lack of critical thinking. As an analogy to describe how ridiculous your idea is: If you told me you wanted to design and build a road-legal car in your shed from scratch using only raw materials (aluminum ingots, rubber/plastic pellets, etc), I would give you higher odds of success than if you told me you wanted to design, manufacture and verify any logic circuit that's too complex for a 15€ off-the-shelf FPGA.

              Let's ignore for a second that most people would struggle to even build a clocked flipflop from logical components, nevermind designing anything more complex based on physical components (as in, the transistors and resistors that make up the logical components such as a NOR gate). Let's further ignore the complexities of formally verifying that your design actually does what you want, translating the design to a working chip, and verifying that the resulting chip still adheres to the specification and can hit the target frequency and power levels. And of course we're ignoring the enormous requirements for creating and handling wafers and performing litography anywhere near the required orders of magnitute, which would include things such as a clean room and vacuum processing.

              Even if some machine were able to magically turn an idea into an etched wafer with a circuit correctly implementing your idea, you would have lots of work in front of you before you could actually use it. You handwave away the cutting and packaging step (which are far from trivial and currently require machines bigger than your garden shed), so let's assume the magical device directly produces an IC. But unless that IC is a black box fixed-function component which you plug into an existing circuit, your work would still be far from finished. You would need to design and build a fitting PCB, including any further logical and analog components (e.g. power delivery). If the chip requires any sort of firmware, now you have a big coding project as well, and need a way to flash the compiled firmware to the chip before you could use it. For anything more complex you would also need some sort of OS on top of the firmware, which again complicates things, even if we assume you could re-use an existing embedded OS with minimal adaptions to its kernel.

              Even if you managed to do all of that work in your garden shed, the next question would be why you'd want to go through all the hassle. If you need a custom chip implementing some digital logic, just buy an FPGA off the shelf - a random example chip from Lattice with a 6k LUT and 180Kb mem costs 15€ for a single chip and less in bulk. If your requirement is too complex for currently available FPGAs then even creating a correct chip design for it would be an enormous task measured in man-years, nevermind manufacturing and integrating that chip. And even then you would probably be vastly better off by simply using an available microcontroller and programming your logic in code.

              This post ignores various further things, e.g. that your magical chip machine would be far behind in process technology compared to bleeding-edge nodes and thus would be laughably slow and inefficient. Just the light source for anything in the EUV and DUV ranges would be so vastly complicated and expensive that the idea of a private buyer owning such a device is about as realistic as privately owning a nuclear reactor, and that won't change unless someone achieves a whole lot of physics and engineering breakthroughs.

              So TL;DR: Your hypothetical chip-making device would currently be a few orders of magnitude too expensive, big, and power-hungry for personal use. All of these issues are complicated enough that you'd get a nobel prize for shaving even one order of magnitude from one of these quantities. But even just designing and verifying a non-trivial chip is also far too complex for a hobbyist in their shed, integrating the chip into a circuit to do anything useful is not trivial either, and an off-the-shelf FPGA or microcontroller would probably be the better choice in all cases.

            6. Someone Else Silver badge

              Re: Gatekeeping

              Maybe you should devote your pie-in-the-sky ambitions to solving the Flying Car problem? There is much more pent-up desire for that than my being able to create my own Z-80 in my basement.

            7. Denarius Silver badge

              Re: Gatekeeping

              you dont "build" a computer in your shed. You assemble parts

          2. adam 40 Silver badge

            Re: Gatekeeping

            It might be that silicone chip, so you just need some bathroom sealant and a sealant gun. Keep the nozzle opening as small as possible!

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Gatekeeping @My-Handle

        When I first read your use of 'scale', I was thinking volume production.

        But it is really size that is the issue.

        It is possible to create single devices (transistor or diode) using technology that is available in the home, after all, the labs that originally created transistors weren't that much more sophisticated than a modern day school physics lab.

        But these devices will be slow, unreliable, and very large, just as they were when they were first made.

        Even using the scale of integration that went into 7400 series TTL (commonly used chips from the '60s, and still used in some forms today) would be beyond all but the most dedicated home enthusiast. The requirements to mask, dope and sputter the gates in silicon, even at the scale of original TTL require you to work on die sizes measured a few millimeters across. It's not impossible, but well beyond most home enthusiasts. And these devices typically have a couple of dozen transistors, and a very simple design with only a few layers.

        When I was studying electronics at University in the early '80s, we had the facilities to build chips in the semiconductor fabrication lab there, but the process was quite involved, using optical lithography, and could only build devices with a few thousand gates. Us undergraduates did not get access unless we did a relevant final year project.

        Now look at more complicated chips, with millions of gates, and the area you need to use to build the gates either becomes way to big to handle conveniently, with the associated signal proporgation speed, power and heat problems, or you have to start working at a much smaller scale.

        Even if we were able to print organic semiconductors, you would need something much better than your average ink-jet printer to deposit the materials, although that is what they do for large panel OLED screens nowadays, if I understand the technology correctly.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Gatekeeping @My-Handle

          A few hundred quid would buy you a reasonable quality used microscope that could be used to project your mask image onto a die. But at best it would only get you down to micron resolution and at that resolution it would only cover a small area so for any reasonable sized die you'd need to do it in sections. With all that glass, of course, you'd have to forego UV sensitive materials and just stick to what can be activated in the visible spectrum.

          1. Mike 137 Silver badge

            Re: Gatekeeping @My-Handle

            Dust would be the overwhelming problem, and clean rooms cost a fortune to set up and maintain clean.

            I've tried some (low resolution - just instrument panels) photo etching in an ordinary machine shop, and it was a total washout as the mask got contaminated every time.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Gatekeeping @My-Handle

              A technology that cannot be perfected in the Great British Shed - because it would involve somebody cleaning up first ?

        2. My-Handle Silver badge

          Re: Gatekeeping @My-Handle

          Poor choice of words on my part, I did mean "size", rather than "scale". I think also drawing on knowledge from a GSCE Electronics class, circa 2004, and a visit to Sheffield University's semiconductor fabrication building a couple of years later might not have been quite enough for a properly informed opinion :-). Hopefully informed enough to illustrate that this isn't a feat that can readily be done by a single person.

      3. swm Silver badge

        Re: Gatekeeping

        Silicon wafers are about as fragile as a piece of glass. You don't want to drop one (as I did once in a CS class I was teaching - everyone wanted a piece) but the wafer is pretty strong. Keeping it clean is another matter. I believe making 1000 nm transistors is doable with ~ $100K of equipment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gatekeeping

          >1000 nm transistors

          That's 1μm in technical parlance. Should be feasible. Even universities where fabbing 1μm devices back when I was learning. Rubylith FTW.

    2. NXM Bronze badge

      Re: Gatekeeping

      A guy named Sam Zeloof has set up a lab to do exactly that, but it's taken ages and needs a wide array of skills and equipment (article on Wired). So unless you can get a scanning electron microscope from Argos and are confident handling hydrogen fluoride, it probably isn't for most people.

      NB1: there was a school trip to a fab in Scotland when I was doing my degree. Apparently if it caught fire and the fire suppression didn't contain it, the fire brigade would let it burn down because putting water on it would make the problem much, much worse.

      NB2: hydrogen fluoride is very nasty stuff indeed.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Gatekeeping

        My old department (I no longer work there) at a Scottish university used to have semi fabrication labs that used stuff donated when commercial fabs gave up their kit due to upgrades (this was 90s so small beans compared to modern $B fabs) and it did have a fire.

        And the fire brigade did let it burn down.

        Not just the hydrofluoric acid that is nasty, but also the cylinders of doping gases such as phosgene (as used in WW1 for chemical weapon) and arsine (same idea, but arsenic instead of phosphorous) which no one wanted to be anywhere near if they exploded.

    3. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Gatekeeping

      #somuchguardian

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Gatekeeping

        He got my downvote for making the bizarre assertion that somehow we should be building "chips at home" - yes, I have a 8nm fab in the shed, under an old sheet to keep the sawdust off - and that Universities brand themselves as "woke", despite the term only ever being used as a term of abuse by... well, people such as yourself. They're both stupid assertions.

        You get my downvote for implying that these downvotes were some sort of left-wing kneejerk response just because the OP included the term "woke", rather than just saying stupid things.

        I don't know why you guys keep trying to provoke some sort of class war on what is basically a technical website. It's a story on chips, FFS. What does "woke" have to do with it? Can't you just take it elsewhere? You're all noise, no signal and it's just so dull. Go watch GB news or something.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Gatekeeping

          > I don't know why you guys keep trying to provoke some sort of class war on what is basically a technical website. It's a story on chips, FFS. What does "woke" have to do with it? Can't you just take it elsewhere? You're all noise, no signal and it's just so dull. Go watch GB news or something.

          Congratulations on learning to write without learning to read. That's some skill.

          Your carer will note that the OP was who introduced politics into this thread. My response was merely mocking them for it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Gatekeeping

        #RightWhingers

    4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Gatekeeping

      To make chips at scale and at a reasonable price is not cheap nor technically easy. Also, some of the chemicals used are fairly dangerous. One noted that HF is used which has an interesting habit of penetrating skin and attacking bone (I am originally a chemist); a rather nasty and hard to treat injury. I am fairly certain there are many more issues that prevent most from even attempting to make chips in their garden; I certainly would not bother to try.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Gatekeeping

        And it's not like hobbyists don't have all sorts of ways to explore and tinker and make things. Just look at Hackaday or similar sites to see all the great things people are doing on their own.

        If someone wants to play with custom chips, there are FPGAs, which will suit many purposes. I mean, most folks tinkering in the shed aren't looking to build thousands of commercial-grade CPUs to sell, so the performance and gate counts of off-the-shelf FPGAs would probably be fine for whatever experiments they want to do. Hell, simulators are probably fine for most of it. People have implemented SPARC-64 on FPGAs, for example.

        It's really not clear what the hell OP was thinking people might do at home, but looking at the vast array of projects documented on "maker" sites like Hackaday I don't think individuals or even small teams would be able to be much more ambitious even with access to a fab.

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    ubiquitous electronics, such as those used on or in the human body

    That "or in" combined with the word ubiquitous is worrying me.

    If that's what is meant by "wearable", then at some point we'll be debating whether a person is wearing a computer, or a computer is wearing a person.

    1. Umbracorn
      Terminator

      Re: ubiquitous electronics, such as those used on or in the human body

      Quiet there, meatsuit. Don't speak unless I'm 32-bit-addressing you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ubiquitous electronics, such as those used on or in the human body

      "wearable"

      well 'they' announce a pandemic then 'they' can start injecting the masses, whilst increasing 5G coverage...

      luckily tin foil isn't organic

  4. Lis

    Totally of subject

    am I the only one that if I had the surname "Wang" would change it as soon as I legally could?

    Cheers... Ishy

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Totally of subject

      Oh Matron! A wang joke. How unpredictable. Apparently you are the only one.

    2. Nick Gisburne

      Re: Totally of subject

      Brian Cox seems to be fine with his name, and Philip K Dick was reasonably successful, so maybe it's just you.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Totally of subject

        With an American twist, Boris Johnson would seem to be nominative determinism

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: Totally of subject

          As was Trump from the other side of the pond..

        2. adam 40 Silver badge

          Re: Totally of subject

          Phil Wang dines out on his.... errr... Wang.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Totally of subject

      Given there are more than twice the population of this septic isle with that surname it would be cheaper to educate the fuck out of a few morons here, or just wait till they grow up a little.

    4. nerdbert

      Re: Totally of subject

      The troll density is high today...

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Durability?

    I have some OC71 (germanium) transistors from the early 1960s that still work (in working circuits). I'm wondering how stable these organic molecules are long term. If transistors made from them are going to be used in medical implants, this could matter in terms of tens of decades.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Durability?

      A pacemaker only lasts 5-15 years before it needs replacing, so...

      1. BeefEater

        Re: Re: Durability?

        I'm not so sure about that range.

        My mate has just had Open Heart Surgery to remove the one he was fitted with back in the '70s. (So that they could give him a replacement).

        Normally that wouldn't be necessary, but in the past 40 odd years some of the wires got a bit tangled up with the living organ and had to be removed very carefully.

        1. ectel

          Re: Durability?

          A pacemaker is a set of wires (between 1 and 4 ish) going into the muscles of the heart, and a control box

          a "Box change" is a day case and done fairly easily

          Placing the pacing wires (or moving/removing them) is more dificult.

          Fun fact, if a pacing box is not used during an op, but has been opend it can be used by a vet. Dogs can use human pace makers.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Durability?

            >Dogs can use human pace makers

            I doubt it, a dog would never get into medical school

            1. JamesTGrant

              Re: Durability?

              The dogtor will see you now.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Durability?

                "You're looking a little unwell, what does the lab say?"

                "Ruff!"

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Durability?

        >A pacemaker only lasts 5-15 years before it needs replacing, so...

        Without replacement , they last a lifetime

    2. Bartholomew Bronze badge

      Re: Durability?

      The simple Universal truth is that nothing lasts forever.

      The thing about doping silicon or germanium is that it never actually stops, it just slows down a lot at lower temperatures. Unfortunately all the bleeding edge chips made today will eventually become homogeneous and stop functioning in the very near future (long past their warranty) because of the scale of the structures. So maybe in maybe 50+ years time the only retro computers of now will be created with simulated hardware, because there will be no functioning hardware remaining (unless some chips were stored in freezers to minimizing dopant diffusion).

    3. Citizen99

      Re: Durability?

      OC71 ? Luxury! Red-spot and Blue-spot here. Sometimes with self-induced thermal runaway :-D

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue line of cheerleaders...

    "5, 6, 11, 12!

    Tetra, Phenyl, Tetra, Cene!"

  7. steelpillow Silver badge
    WTF?

    Just a small elephant...

    ...in the room?

    Rubrene is already used to make organic FETs. Why should organic biploar trannies be any more useful?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Just a small elephant...

      Bipolar is around 100 times faster for the same scale of process.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Just a small elephant...

        I'll trust you on the Si side of things. Do we know this on the organic side?

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Just a small elephant...

          I'd imagine that's why they are looking. But from what I remember of the physics I cant see a reason why it wouldnt work. An FET involves electrons or hole moving under the gate so the distance they have to travel is the minimum you can get from the lithography. With bipolar they have to travel through the base which can be made a lot smaller by diffusing the things you add to the silicon. The last time I worked on this you could make a FET with three masks and IIRC 7 to achieve very thin bases (14 overall for 3 levels of metal interconnect) but we did get 9.6Ghz parts in 1989/90 from transistor that were about 30u square when sub micron FETs were starting to appear. We were doing ECL with 1ma tail currents whereas CMOS of a similar size were u amp.

          There was a paper around then that outlined a 600 gate 16 bit CPU which I could have done in bipolar at 2.4Ghz and it would have been the fastest CPU in the world and consumed 60W. A meg of ram would have been about 20Kw in bipolar though - and a large tropical island in GaAs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bipolar?

    Is it just me or they have just designed electronics with mental illnesses?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: bipolar?

      It's a power saving feature. The bipolar transistors can switch from super turbo speed mode into staying in their bedroom with the curtains closed not speaking to anyone mode as required

  9. Mister Dubious
    Joke

    Transistor disorder?

    Are the transistors bipolar because they haven't been taking their lithium? I hear it's in short supply...

    1. aerogems Bronze badge

      Re: Transistor disorder?

      As groanworthy as that comment was, it was also pretty clever, and accurate to boot, so a begrudging thumbs up for you my friend.

  10. aerogems Bronze badge

    Wake me when it's at mass production

    First off... awesome story image. Serious kudos to the person who found that image.

    That said, history is littered with cool things someone managed to do in a lab but then couldn't be scaled to industrial capacity, so until this is out of a lab and being integrated into some actual tech, it's just a cool research project for some German researchers.

  11. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Is this moving things forward?

    I would like to know what kind of minimum feature size we are talking here. Also, switching speed. Also power consumption. Also MTBF (in several variants). Also, expected manufacturing complexity & stability...........

    I'm not raining on conducting research, I just want to know what we really have here.

  12. nohomo

    Bi *and* trans?

    In any case, they always come up with something new!

  13. Bartholomew Bronze badge
    Pint

    rubrene. .... Lets call it the "Beer Run" project (That is a good enough anagram for the Icon)

    The next logical step would be to secure very large quantities of Venture Capital funding to create some kind of genetically modified organism to bang out say 10x10x10 cubic meters of this rubrene stuff into some basic circuits. Maybe a gigantic blinking LED's light cube to start with.

    And eventually with enough VC money and experience comes Project Kysten (Anagram of NetSky or Sky-Something-Or-Other-I-Do-Not-Remember-Right-Now-It-Is-Probably-Not-All-That-Important).

    EDIT: Maybe I should have used the your foster parents are dead icon. Or the I'll get my coat Icon.

    1. Surreal Estate

      Re: rubrene. .... Lets call it the "Beer Run" project (That is a good enough anagram for the Icon)

      I'll be waiting for Evolution to sling some bacteria or fungi capable of eating rubrene to bring the whole house down...

  14. Nifty Silver badge

    Some of the comments above sound like monastery scribes debating the validity of the Caxton press.

  15. bazza Silver badge

    Electrical Efficiency?

    I've got a nasty feeling that organic transistors are going to be pretty wasteful of electrons, compared to silicon, for a given application. If we started using them on a very large scale (and part of the attraction is that we could), what does that do to the world's electricity consumption / emissions / etc?

    Of course, on the other hand, making silicon is an energy intensive industrial process all by itself, so perhaps it can balance out. But I suspect not...

  16. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    Joke

    Will this computer need an SSNRI?

    If it's biopolor, it will need counseling and medication and ……… What? ……… Not that type of bipolar?

    Never mind?

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