Home > Press > Imec paves the way for intelligent item-level RFID tagging to replace bar codes: World-first UHF IGZO Schottky diode is breakthrough achievement towards low-cost passive thin-film RFID tags
|Imec’s world-first ultrahigh frequency IGZO Schottky diode|
At this week's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2012), imec presented the world-first ultra-high frequency Schottky diode based on amorphous IGZO (Indium-Gallium-Zinc Oxide) as semiconductor. This breakthrough achievement will enable the development of thin-film passive UHF (ultra-high frequency) RFID (radiofrequency ID) tags to replace item-level bar codes.
Imec paves the way for intelligent item-level RFID tagging to replace bar codes: World-first UHF IGZO Schottky diode is breakthrough achievement towards low-cost passive thin-film RFID tags
San Francisco, CA | Posted on December 11th, 2012
Passive intelligent item-level RFID tags are ideal for the retail sector and enable more accurate tracking of individual products (i.e. expiration, misplacement, theft, etc). Unlike bar codes which require one-per-one scanning by the reader, UHF RFID-tags could be scanned all together. However, today's UHF silicon-based RFID technology is too expensive for mass-market retail applications. Imec's research aims to dramatically reduce the cost of the entire RFID by combining ultra high frequency (UHF) operation with a thin-film-based technology. UHF RFID tags have a long reading range (5 to 10 meters) and employ small, printed, low-cost antennas. Compared to Silicon, IGZO based technology has the potential to result in a low-cost solution, since IGZO thin film active devices are fabricated using a cheaper, low-temperature process. This allows the development of chips direct on a plastic foils, such as on the product package. However, IGZO has intrinsically a lower performance than conventional Silicon and other conventional crystalline semiconductors. Therefore, it is a challenge to fabricate ultra-fast active devices based on IGZO.
The diode is the fundamental block in the power supply generator of passive, i.e., battery-less tags. It rectifies the carrier wave captured by the antenna and feeds the power supply on the tag. IGZO is an amorphous semiconductor with gap states that impede the formation of a stable Schottky barrier, irrespective of the metal used. To achieve a stable Schottky barrier, imec developed specific plasma and anneal treatments that alter the chemistry of the Schottky interface. The resulting IGZO Schottky diodes have a rectification ratio of up to nine orders of magnitude (at +1V and -1V), current densities of up to 800A/cm2 at forward bias of 1V, and a cut-off frequency of 1.8 GHz. When incorporated in a single stage rectifier, the cut-off frequency is 1.1GHz. The rectifiers are demonstrated to operate at ultra-high frequency (868MHz) with low losses.
This achievement, together with imec's recent demonstration of a functioning bidirectional thin-film RFID circuit (at ISSCC2012), are critical research development steps towards the realization of intelligent item-level tagging with broad implementation opportunities in the retail sector. The research on thin-film UHF RFID technology is supported by the EU FP7-ICT-247798 project ORICLA. Project partners include the project coordinator imec (Belgium), Holst Centre - TNO (The Netherlands), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), and PolyIC (Germany).
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of close to 2,000 people includes more than 600 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2011, imec's revenue (P&L) was about 300 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at www.imec.be.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shangai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).
For more information, please click here
Copyright © IMEC
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News and information
JPK announces expansion of its global sales and service activities in China and USA April 15th, 2014
Nanobiotix Appoints Thierry Otin as Head of Manufacturing and Supply April 15th, 2014
PAM-XIAMEN Offers UV LED wafer April 15th, 2014
Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014
Industry Veteran Fergus Clarke Joins Picodeon as CEO: Appointment comes as Picodeon prepares for growth April 8th, 2014
Scalable CVD process for making 2-D molybdenum diselenide: Rice, NTU scientists unveil CVD production for coveted 2-D semiconductor April 8th, 2014
High-quality nanometric bilayers prepared by aqueous solutions March 26th, 2014
A new concept for manufacturing wrinkling patterns on hard-nano-film/soft-matter-substrate March 24th, 2014
Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014
Obducat has launched a new generation of SINDRE® Nano Imprint production system April 11th, 2014
Scientists in Singapore develop novel ultra-fast electrical circuits using light-generated tunneling currents April 10th, 2014
Clean Shot at Manufacturing Course…For Less April 9th, 2014
Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014
A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014
Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014
Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014
Engineers develop new materials for hydrogen storage April 15th, 2014
Near-field Nanophotonics Workshop in Boston April 14th, 2014
LetiDays Grenoble to Present Multiple Perspectives on Development, Challenges and Markets for the IoT April 14th, 2014
Iran to Hold 2nd National Conference on Nanotechnology in Power, Energy Industries April 13th, 2014
Leti and Partners in SOCRATE Project Focusing on Miniature Antennas with Super-Directivity Radiation Properties: Improving Directivity of Small Antennas Would Enhance Spectral Efficiency, Reduce Environmental Impact and Increase Functionality July 15th, 2013
IDTechEx launches online Market Intelligence Portal May 23rd, 2013
Mincom Capital Inc. and Group Nanoxplore Inc. Sign Letter of Intent for a Qualifying Transaction April 10th, 2013
SouthWest NanoTechnologies Featuring Carbon Nanotube Inks at 2013 Flexible Electronics and Displays Conference (FlexTech) (Booth 48) January 30th, 2013