Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > New thin film transistor may lead to flexible devices: Researchers engineer an electronics first, opening door to flexible electronics

Abstract:
An engineering research team at the University of Alberta has invented a new transistor that could revolutionize thin-film electronic devices.

New thin film transistor may lead to flexible devices: Researchers engineer an electronics first, opening door to flexible electronics

Edmonton, Canada | Posted on February 10th, 2016

Their findings, published in the prestigious science journal Nature Communications, could open the door to the development of flexible electronic devices with applications as wide-ranging as display technology to medical imaging and renewable energy production.

The team was exploring new uses for thin film transistors (TFT), which are most commonly found in low-power, low-frequency devices like the display screen you're reading from now. Efforts by researchers and the consumer electronics industry to improve the performance of the transistors have been slowed by the challenges of developing new materials or slowly improving existing ones for use in traditional thin film transistor architecture, known technically as the metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET).

But the U of A electrical engineering team did a run-around on the problem. Instead of developing new materials, the researchers improved performance by designing a new transistor architecture that takes advantage of a bipolar action. In other words, instead of using one type of charge carrier, as most thin film transistors do, it uses electrons and the absence of electrons (referred to as "holes") to contribute to electrical output. Their first breakthrough was forming an 'inversion' hole layer in a 'wide-bandgap' semiconductor, which has been a great challenge in the solid-state electronics field.

Once this was achieved, "we were able to construct a unique combination of semiconductor and insulating layers that allowed us to inject "holes" at the MOS interface," said Gem Shoute, a PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who is lead author on the article. Adding holes at the interface increased the chances of an electron "tunneling" across a dielectric barrier. Through this phenomenon, a type of quantum tunnelling, "we were finally able to achieve a transistor that behaves like a bipolar transistor."

"It's actually the best performing [TFT] device of its kind--ever," said materials engineering professor Ken Cadien, a co-author on the paper. "This kind of device is normally limited by the non-crystalline nature of the material that they are made of"

The dimension of the device itself can be scaled with ease in order to improve performance and keep up with the need of miniaturization, an advantage that modern TFTs lack. The transistor has power-handling capabilities at least 10 times greater than commercially produced thin film transistors.

Electrical engineering professor Doug Barlage, who is Shoute's PhD supervisor and one of the paper's lead authors, says his group was determined to try new approaches and break new ground. He says the team knew it could produce a high-power thin film transistor--it was just a matter of finding out how.

"Our goal was to make a thin film transistor with the highest power handling and switching speed possible. Not many people want to look into that, but the raw properties of the film indicated dramatic performance increase was within reach," he said. "The high quality sub 30 nanometre (a human hair is 50 nanometres wide) layers of materials produced by Professor Cadien's group enabled us to successfully try these difficult concepts"

In the end, the team took advantage of the very phenomena other researchers considered roadblocks.

"Usually tunnelling current is considered a bad thing in MOSFETs and it contributes to unnecessary loss of power, which manifests as heat," explained Shoute. "What we've done is build a transistor that considers tunnelling current a benefit."

The team has filed a provisional patent on the transistor. Shoute says the next step is to put the transistor to work "in a fully flexible medium and apply these devices to areas like biomedical imaging, or renewable energy."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Richard Cairney

780-492-4514

Copyright © University of Alberta

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Thin films

Particle size matters for porous building blocks: Rice University scientists find porous nanoparticles get tougher under pressure, but not when assembled December 19th, 2017

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

Graphene oxide making any material suitable to create biosensors: Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed a new tool for biomedical research focused on single-cell investigation November 27th, 2017

The next generation of power electronics? Gallium nitride doped with beryllium: How to cut down energy loss in power electronics? The right kind of doping November 9th, 2017

Flexible Electronics

Printing Flexible Graphene Supercapacitors December 1st, 2017

Fine felted nanotubes : Research team of Kiel University develops new composite material made of carbon nanotubes November 22nd, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Possible Futures

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Chip Technology

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

Discoveries

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Announcements

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

IBM Breaks Records to Top U.S. Patent List for 25th Consecutive Year: IBM Inventors Receive Record 9,043 Patents in 2017 in Areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Quantum Computing January 11th, 2018

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

Picosunís ALD nanolaminates improve lifetime and reliability of electronic circuit boards October 24th, 2017

Energy

Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy: Osaka University researchers use sunlight to make hydrogen with a new nanostructured catalyst based on nanosheets of black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate January 17th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows: Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity January 2nd, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project