In this work we demonstrate high performance and low-power n-type inverters using solution-based CdS as the semiconductor in thin film transistors. Our fabrication process consists of five mask levels and a maximum temperature of 150 °C. The CdS is deposited using chemical bath deposition at 70 °C to provide full compatibility with flexible substrates. Isolated TFTs showed mobilities up to 10 cm2/V-s and threshold voltages of approximately 0.5V. Inverters were biased at 1, 3 and 5 V, resulting in maximum gains in the range of 60 at VDD = 3V. The devices and circuits are fully patterned using standard photolithographic techniques that can be used to design more complex circuitry for flexible and large area electronic applications. In addition we used an extraction parameter method for our TFTs that allows the use of regular SPICE simulation software to design and test the circuits. Our simulations are in good agreement with the experimental data for isolated devices and inverters. Other circuits such as NAND gates are also demonstrated.
We have demonstrated flexible packaging and integration of CMOS IC chips with PDMS microfluidics. Microfluidic channels are used to deliver both liquid samples and liquid metals to the CMOS die. The liquid metals are used to realize electrical interconnects to the CMOS chip. As a demonstration we integrated a CMOS magnetic sensor die and matched PDMS microfluidic channels in a flexible package. The packaged system is fully functional under 3cm bending radius. The flexible integration of CMOS ICs with microfluidics enables previously unavailable flexible CMOS electronic systems with fluidic manipulation capabilities, which hold great potential for wearable health monitoring, point-of-care diagnostics and environmental sensing.
Actually the technological community has an interest in developing flexible circuits and antennas with particular characteristics e.g. robust, flexible, lightweight load-bearing, economical and efficient antennas for integrated millimeter wave systems. Microstrip antennas are an excellent solution because those have all the characteristics before mentioned, but they have the problem of being rigid antennas and this makes impossible that those antennas can be use in portable devices. A practical solution is developing flexible microstrip antennas that can be integrated to different devices. One axis of work is the analysis of the electromagnetic field to the microstrip antennas using Bessel function and after generalize for application inflexible microstrip antennas.
A low temperature amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film transistor (TFT) and amorphous silicon PIN photodiode technology for flexible passive pixel detector arrays has been developed using active matrix display technology. The flexible detector arrays can be conformed to non-planar surfaces with the potential to detect x-rays or other radiation with an appropriate conversion layer. The thin, lightweight, and robust backplanes may enable the use of highly portable x-ray detectors for use in the battlefield or in remote locations. We have fabricated detector arrays up to 200 millimeters along the diagonal on a Gen II (370 mm x 470 mm rectangular substrate) using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) a-Si as the active layer and PECVD silicon nitride (SiN) as the gate dielectric and passivation. The a-Si based TFTs exhibited an effective saturation mobility of 0.7 cm2/V-s, which is adequate for most sensing applications. The PIN diode material was fabricated using a low stress amorphous silicon (a-Si) PECVD process. The PIN diode dark current was 1.7 pA/mm2, the diode ideality factor was 1.36, and the diode fill factor was 0.73. We report on the critical steps in the evolution of the backplane process from qualification of the low temperature (180°C) TFT and PIN diode process on the 150 mm pilot line, the transfer of the process to flexible plastic substrates, and finally a discussion and demonstration of the scale-up to the Gen II (370 x 470 mm) panel scale pilot line.
Today’s flat panel digital x-ray image sensors, which have been in production since the mid-1990s, are produced exclusively on glass substrates. While acceptable for use in a hospital or doctor’s office, conventional glass substrate digital x-ray sensors are too fragile for use outside these controlled environments without extensive reinforcement. Reinforcement, however, significantly increases weight, bulk, and cost, making them impractical for far-forward remote diagnostic applications, which demand rugged and lightweight x-ray detectors. Additionally, glass substrate x-ray detectors are inherently rigid. This limits their use in curved or bendable, conformal x-ray imaging applications such as the non-destructive testing (NDT) of oil pipelines. However, by extending low-temperature thin-film transistor (TFT) technology previously demonstrated on plastic substrate- based electrophoretic and organic light emitting diode (OLED) flexible displays, it is now possible to manufacture durable, lightweight, as well as flexible digital x-ray detectors. In this paper, we discuss the principal technical approaches used to apply flexible display technology to two new large-area flexible digital x-ray sensors for defense, security, and industrial applications and demonstrate their imaging capabilities. Our results include a 4.8″ diagonal, 353 x 463 resolution, flexible digital x-ray detector, fabricated on a 6″ polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) plastic substrate; and a larger, 7.9″ diagonal, 720 x 640 resolution, flexible digital x-ray detector also fabricated on PEN and manufactured on a gen 2 (370 x 470 mm) substrate.
In this work we assess the feasibility of ZnO films deposited from a sol gel precursor as a material for thin film charged particle detectors. There are many reports of polycrystalline ZnO thin film transistors (TFTs) in the literature, deposited by sputtering, pulsed laser deposition, and sol gel. There are also reports of sol gel derived ZnO doped with Li or Mg to increase the resistivity, however, these works only measure resistivity of the films, without determining the effect of doping on the carrier concentration. We study the effects of doping the ZnO with Mg and Li as well as the effects of thickness on the films’ resistivity, mobility, and carrier concentration, since these material parameters are critical for a charged particle sensor. Carrier concentration is particularly important because it must be kept low in order for the intrinsic region of a p-i-n diode to be depleted. In order to accomplish this we fabricate and electrically characterize test structures for resistivity, test structures for hall measurement, common back-gate TFTs, and metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) capacitors. We also conduct physical characterization techniques such as x-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), electron microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and ellipsometry to determine the effect of doping and film thickness on the microstructure and optical properties of the ZnO.
Large area, flexible sensing arrays for imaging, biochemical sensing and radiation detection are now possible with the development of flexible active matrix display technology. In particular, large-area flexible imaging arrays can provide considerable advancement in defense and security industries because of their inherent low manufacturing costs and physical plasticity that allows for increased adaptability to non-planar mounting surfaces. For example, a flexible array of photodetectors and lenslets formed into a cylinder could image simultaneously with a 360 degree view without the need for expensive bulky optics or a gimbaled mount. Here we report the design and development of a scalable 16x16 pixel testbed for flexible sensor arrays using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) parts and demonstrate the capture of a shadow image with an array of photodiodes and active pixel sensors on a plastic substrate. The image capture system makes use of an array of low-noise, InGaZnO active pixel amplifiers to detect changes in current in 2.4 μm-thick reverse-biased a-Si:H PIN diodes. A thorough characterization of the responsivity, detectivity, and optical gain of an a- Si:H photodiode is also provided. At the back end, analog capture circuitry progressively scans the array and constructs an image based on the electrical activity in each pixel. The use of correlated-double-sampling to remove fixed pattern noise is shown to significantly improve spatial resolution due to process variations. The testbed can be readily adapted for the development of neutron, alpha-particle, or X-ray detection arrays given an appropriate conversion layer.