QUT transforming colored pigments into electronics to diminish e-waste

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Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has described how a group of analysts is working on transforming colored pigments into electronics.

Utilizing organic a family of pigments called diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP), the scientists believe they can make wearable technology from bendable and stretchable transistors and biodegradable gadgets to solve the electronic waste issue.

QUT clarified that DPPs are carbon-based organic materials that are utilized for their color as dyes and for their charge transporting and optoelectronic properties.

Optoelectronics includes gadgets that convert light into electrical signals and electrical energy into light.

“The next business coming is stretchable,” said QUT Associate Professor Prashant Sonar, who leads the group of specialists.

One of the advantages of using pigments with electronics is that they can be printed on a range of materials, QUT said.

“This means flexible materials can become solar cells, transistors, and sensors and used in many ways ranging from medical devices designed to be inserted into the body to technology products designed to break down rather than ending up as more e-waste,” the university said.

“With the fast growth of high-mobility materials, they are increasingly considered for use in stretchable electronic devices that can provide unique mechanical properties including being able to be bent, twisted, stretched, and wrapped over irregular or moving objects,” Sonar added.

As indicated by Sonar, the properties they have to make them attractive for biomedical instruments, wearable electronics, bioinspired gadgets, and artificial skin for robotics and prosthetics.

“With these types of devices, we’re not looking at the scale of 20 years or 30 years, we are looking at the scale of three, four or five years and for all these applications, low-cost printable organic semiconductors is the bottleneck,” he revealed.

Sonar’s research group a year ago found another material by joining DPP Pigment Red 254 and naphthalene – a notable ingredient in moth repellents.

The new DPP derivative, naphthalene flanked DPP or DPPN, has potential uses in organic transistors and adaptable solar cells, QUT said.

Thus, the professor additionally recently created semiconductor materials utilizing another class of an orange dye called anthanthrone which QUT said could be utilized later on for “perovskite” flexible solar cells incorporated with curtains, sail shades, or apparel.

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