Vitaly Podzorov/Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Organic transistors based on single crystals of rubrene, a hydrocarbon, can roughly double the speed of electricity flowing through them when a crystal is slightly bent (strained). This useful behavior cannot be easily achieved with traditional semiconductors made, for example, of silicon. Molecules of rubrene are arranged in a herringbone pattern (upper left), forming highly ordered semiconducting molecular crystals that can be used to create rigid (upper right) or flexible (lower left) high-performance organic transistors, based on thick or ultra-thin single crystals, respectively. An example of a freestanding rubrene transistor is shown on a finger tip (lower right).