Metal nanoparticles can trap electric charges very effectively and can improve transistor performance and help produce thinner transistors. Sandwiching a layer of nanoparticles is more compatible with lower-cost, continuous roll-to-roll fabrication techniques than putting material just in the transistor gate area, according to the scientists, whose research was featured in the journal Applied Physics Letters, published by the American Institute of Physics.

The research also showed that the thickness of the nanoparticle layer changes the device performance in predictable ways that can be used to optimize transistor performance to meet application requirements.
Transistors made with a 1μm nanoparticle layer, for example, have stable memory that lasts only about three hours, which would be suitable for memory buffers, while transistors with a 5μm thick layer retain their charge for a much longer time.
"We believe that organic memory has a very high potential for use in next-generation memory devices – such as touchscreens and electronic paper – where their flexibility and low-cost are most important," said Dr. Sumei Wang, a postdoctoral research fellow who was in the research team.