Carbon is the stuff of life! A vital element in nature, it is also one of the most abundant elements and present in every life form. Indeed, we, humans, have been classified as "carbon units" by V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It is a sort of friendly element, easily reacting with other elements, resulting in a library of millions of compounds. While carbon has been used since prehistoric times, it took thousands of years to discover the various forms or allotropes known to us today. Carbon's ubiquitous nature also gives rise to the so-called carbon cycle, a biogeochemical process involving the cycling of carbon atoms between earth and its atmosphere. Recognition as an element came in the eighteenth century and a carbon isotope forms the basis of the carbon dating (Nobel Prize in 1960) technology so critical to archeology.
Organic electronics, from OLED displays and lighting to third generation photovoltaic modules, is an enabling technology platform promising lighter, cheaper, and more flexible devices for a wide variety of industries and applications. The recent proliferation of organic-empowered devices like Samsung’s AMOLED displays in their Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets shows just how far we’ve come over the last few years. However, we still have yet to see the truly transformational devices on a large-scale inconceivable with their non-organic analogs (e.g. fully printed, flexible HDTVs).