Last year, scientists from Bell Labs, IBM,, Philips Research Labs,,Pennsylvania State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology all separately produced organic polymers with the characteristics of low-grade silicon semiconductors. The difference between plastic and silicon semiconductors, however, is that the plastics are created using common chemicals and can be processed at near-room temperatures. Plastic ICs would, therefore, cost a fraction of what it takes to produce silicon. Though researchers caution that we are still years away from powerful plastic chips, it is clear that many people believe that plastics are the future.
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