Millions of tons of food are wasted annually because 'the date'. But the date on the package is always a conservative estimate, so much food that is still good in the waste lands. Would it not be useful if the pack 'taste' of the food is still good? Researchers at the CEA-Liten, Eindhoven University of Technology, STMicroelectronics and University of Catania presented last week in the U.S. technical capstone that makes this possible - a plastic analogue to-digital converter. This gives a plastic sensor circuit of less than one euro cent feasible, which is an acceptable price increase is for example, a bag of potato chips or a piece of meat. The ultra cheap plastic electronics has many potential applications, for example in medicine.
“Organic electronics is still in its infancy, thus only simple digital logic and analogue functions have been demonstrated yet using printing techniques,” said CEA-Liten.
The ADC circuits printed by CEA-Liten include more than 100 n- and p-type transistors and a resistive layer on a transparent plastic sheet. The ADC circuit offers a resolution of 4 bits and has a speed of 2Hz.
The carrier mobility of the printed transistors is higher than the one observed in amorphous silicon, which is widely used in the display industry (CEA technology p-type µp = 1.8 cm²/V.s and n-type µn = 0.5 cm²/V.s).