CORVALLIS, Ore. - A presentation by an Oregon State University electrical engineering professor during the 2005 Materials Research Society conference in Boston has been named one of the top five presentations among more than 4,700 oral and poster presentation given at the conference.

John Wager's presentation addressed record electrical properties in a new class of semiconducting materials that show tremendous promise for use in flexible, wearable and transparent electronics applications.

Working in close collaboration with Janet Tate, an OSU professor of physics, and Doug Keszler, an OSU professor of chemistry, Wager's group developed the world's first transparent transistor. The work is gaining international recognition.

"This honor is another indication that we're onto something very big here at Oregon State," said Wager. "Now other people are beginning to sense that."

Wager's presentation was selected by the MRS Public Outreach Committee and is intended to increase awareness of groundbreaking materials research and its importance in everyday life.

Unlike silicon, the new materials being studied at OSU can be produced at very low temperatures and are also flexible, making them applicable to glass, plastics and bendable materials, such as maps. These or similar materials could improve solar cell technology, Wager said, and impact many other applications ranging from security and safety to energy independence.

Possible applications include:

  • Electronically controlling the infrared or optical transparency of a coating on a home or office window to let in more or less heat and light depending on the weather.
  • Flashing a warning across a car's windshield glass if sensors detect ice or an object in the street ahead.
  • Placing invisible burglar alarms on windows.
  • Applying electronics on the glass of scanners and copy machines, dramatically reducing their overall size.

    "As soon as you start letting your mind wander, there are a lot of potential applications out there," Wager said. The OSU research could also dramatically impact organic light emitting devices, leading to electronic displays that are brighter, crisper, and consume less power.

    "Our materials might be the solution to the electronic back-plane driver challenge of this projected $10-billion to $15-billion market," Wager said.

    The OSU work is affiliated with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, a collaboration involving Oregon's three public research universities - OSU, Portland State University and the University of Oregon; the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; the state of Oregon; and the regional business community.

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    John Wager, 541-737-2994