The shrinking of electronic devices is one of the greatest technological advances of human beings. This type of progress is made possible through the use or discovery of new materials that allow the construction of electrical circuits in ever-smaller spaces.
It is precisely in this context that we introduce the discovery made by a group of scientists from the University of Chicago who collaborated with Cornell University and the Argonne National Laboratory to develop extremely thin films made of organic materials which, as explained in the study published in Science, could represent a new springboard towards even smaller electronics with new capabilities.
The film is much more efficient at the extremely high temperatures that are usually needed to produce inorganic films. Researchers have already tested this film as an electric capacitor, achieving good results, which inspires some confidence in any use in electronics. However, the same researchers think of other possible uses: nanorobots, fabrics that bend or take on a certain shape when exposed to water or light, membranes to filter water or to make batteries more efficient, sensors to detect toxins and even possible uses in the field of quantum computing.
“If you can transform materials into atomically thin layers, you can stack them into sequences and get new features, and there are some very good reasons to think that organic films can be really useful,” said Yu Zhong, one of the authors of the study. “But up to now, it has been very difficult to check the thickness of the film and make it in large quantities.”