Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

Crystalline Rubrene for Optoelectronic Devices


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Piezo-electric crystals

Mains level : Not much

Indian scientists have found a new process for synthesizing crystalline rubrene for the development of optoelectronic devices and also for preparation of Electronic Skin (E-Skin).

Note the difference between the Pyro-electric/ Piezo-electric/ Pyro-photonic effects. UPSC may shuffle the meaning of such terms in statement based prelims question.

What is crystalline rubrene?

  • Crystalline rubrene is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-based thin film.
  • It is a water-free, solvent-free, environmentally friendly one-step plasma process.
  • It demonstrated optoelectronic properties (which detect and control light).
  • A highly uniform pin-hole-free thin film can be deposited by this process, which is useful for the fabrication of high-end devices.

Working principle

  • Devices made of pyro-electric materials (that generate electric charge when they are heated or cooled) and piezo-electric materials (that generate electric charge under the effect of mechanical pressure), can help detect change in temperature and pressure.
  • Pyro-electric materials also show pyro-phototronic effect where pyro-electricity is associated with the change in temperature of a material when it absorbs photons.
  • Pyro-electric infrared detectors are well known for application in infrared sensing for space research, defense, remote sensing, and household appliances.

Principle application: Human Skin

  • These kinds of materials are available in biological systems such as – human skin, plant cellulose leading to their significance in the understanding of basic science of biological systems and also in their huge application prospect.
  • The rubrene crystal has a thin amorphous oxide layer formed over the crystalline film.
  • This induces surface layer polarization effect leading to pyro-phototronic effect.

Significance of the research

  • Since last few years, scientists from around the world are working on the synthesis of organic materials for electronic applications.
  • The conventional process for synthesis of organic electronic materials based on chemical processes provides very good quality materials, but the stability of the materials is not very good, and it requires use of solvents.
  • Moreover, multiple steps are required for material synthesis and film deposition.


  • This novel process developed by the Indian team is useful for developing advanced optoelectronic devices and preparation of Electronic Skin (E-Skin).
  • It may prove to be useful tool for laboratory simulation of different biological systems for probing the organization and dynamics of those systems.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.