A team composed of academic and corporate scientists
from the US and UK have succeeded in creating a conductive plastic that could soon lead to the cheap printable
electronics that we're often promised but have yet to see. Researchers from Merck, PARC, and Stanfords University and
Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory were able to tweak the structure of a regular organic polymer to create a so-called
"semi-conducting polythiopene," which improves upon standard silicon in that it can be laid down using simple
inkjet printing techniques while at the same time producing less waste. Although the new material will never replace
silicon as the choice for hardcore computing applications, the fact that this team has already created transistors with
the new technology may mean that the promised land of ubiquitous, disposable e-paper is closer than we think.