Turns out coffee also makes semiconductors work faster too

A coffee being brewed using a bean-to-cup coffee machine
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

An ingredient that naturally occurs in coffee may be able to make semiconductors run faster according to research from the Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) institute in Japan.

The researchers formed a thin layer of caffeic acid on a gold electrode within an organic semiconductor, via a process known as vacuum deposition.

This was reportedly able to boost the semiconductor's current flow by up to 100 times, measured via a process called the Kelvin probe method.

How did the process work?

According to the research, after the thin layer of caffeic acid formed on the electrode surface, the caffeic acid molecules spontaneously lined up on the electrode surface, enabling faster current flow.

Though this won't mean that you can spill coffee on your mobile workstation to get a boost to your rendering times, Japanese researchers believe this breakthrough could have some practical applications.

These include the development of fully sustainable organic semiconductor devices, which could potentially be created entirely with biomass-derived materials.

Though organic semiconductors already exist, such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic solar cells (OPVs), the researchers pointed to the environmental impact of disposing of these technologies.

The researchers pointed towards the current implementation of electrode modification layers, which are used to expedite the flow of electric charges within semiconductors, highlighting how using these materials "may adversely affect aquatic organisms".

The use of caffeic acid, which can be derived entirely from plants, could lessen the need to use unsustainable chemicals in semiconductor production as per the researcher's claims. 

  • Want to get your work done faster without another coffee? Check out our guide to the best workstations

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.