Scientists Make Cotton Yarn into Transistors

Written by John Ponio    Friday, 30 December 2011 16:22

Image Credit ExtremeTech

Recently a team of material scientists have made two types of transistors out of common yarn. The first is a field-effect transistor (FET), which is similar to the one found inside of a CPU. The second is an electrochemical transistor, which allows it to be switched with a lower voltage than an FET requires. They added gold nanoparticles, conductive polymers, and a waterproofing layer to the thread in a process not unlike dyeing fabric, but the result is only a little less flexible than regular cotton thread and it's more elastic. What's the point of this? Computer clothing, basically. If each connection between two threads works as a transistor, think of how many transistors would be on a full shirt. We're talking millions, or enough to do small processing tasks. Provided there is a power source, of course. We won't see wearable computers for a while now, but it's something to look forward to.