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March 17th, 2003
Growth envisioned for semiconducting crystals
Rudolf "Ruud" Tromp is undertaking groundbreaking work in the study of the growth of organic-semiconducting crystals, such as pentacene, which is being applied in flat-panel display technology. According to Tromp, who is IBM Corp.'s molecular assemblies and devices manager, poor attention to the atomic-surface physics of these thin films leaves researchers with grain sizes restricted to 1 micron-making them a difficult material from which to build displays. However, Tromp recently demonstrated that by paying careful attention to how semiconductors grow, he could increase the grain size to as large as 100 microns-large enough to contain a pixel's transistor inside the grain's boundary.
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