Organic electronics are attractive because they are lightweight, flexible, and less expensive than silicon circuitry. This technology, however, still suffers from some drawbacks, one of which is the high driving voltage and power consumption. For example, typical operating voltage for organic electronics can be as high as 15 - 30 volts(10 to 20 batteries' worth) and these batteries can be drained in a day. This puts organic circuitry way behind silicon circuitry.

One major reason for the high voltage and power consumption of organic electronics is that the dielectrics used in organic transistors are poor quality so they leak a lot of current and have to be made in thick layers. This, in turn, increases the voltage needed to drive the transistor.

Recently, Hagen Klauk et al. have developed a method of fabricating organic circuits that run on a single 1.5-volt battery for several years. The key to the method is the use of a layer of an insulating organic material just one molecule thick; although the layer is very thin, it leaks only a small amount of current, while it provides for a large capacitance.

Read the paper recently published in Nature Magazine for details.