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Apr 13, 2018

Can you bend and break the semiconductor? Does this subvert your understanding of semiconductors? Researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and researcher Chen Lidong collaborated with the German Mape Institute to discover a silver sulfide semiconductor material that is as ductile as metal at room temperature. Silver sulfide is a typical semiconductor, but it has very anomalous and metal-like mechanical properties, in particular, it has good ductility and bendability, and is expected to be widely used in flexible electronics, such as smart clothes, can be Curved solar panels. The relevant research was published on April 9 in Beijing in the journal of "Natural Materials Science".


Good flexural inorganic semiconductors are an urgent requirement of the flexible electronics industry

Metals and ceramics/semiconductors have very different mechanical properties. For example, metals have good ductility, plasticity, and easy processing properties, while ceramics and semiconductors exhibit brittleness, poor plasticity, and poor processing characteristics at room temperature. The difference in their mechanical properties leads to the almost completely opposite application of the two. Especially due to the difference in ductility, in some applications requiring special shapes or deformability, only metals and organic materials are currently suitable for use, and ceramics/semiconductors cannot satisfy such requirements due to their brittleness.


In recent years, flexible electronics have developed rapidly and are considered to have the potential to bring about an electronic technological revolution. It is an emerging electronic technology for producing organic/inorganic material electronic devices on flexible substrates. With its unique deformability and high-efficiency, low-cost manufacturing process, it is widely used in information, energy, medical, and defense fields. However, the current inorganic materials, especially semiconductors, are brittle materials, and they are prone to cracking under large bending, large deformation, and tensile conditions, which leads to device failure. In addition, organic semiconductors have lower mobility than inorganic semiconductors. And the adjustable range of electrical performance is small, unable to meet the vigorous development needs of the semiconductor industry. Therefore, the search for inorganic semiconductor materials with good ductility and bendability is an urgent requirement for the development of flexible electronics.


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