The field of flexible displays and electronics gained a big momentum within the recent years due to their ruggedness, thinness, and flexibility as well as low cost large area manufacturability. Amorphous silicon has been the dominant material used in the thin film transistor industry which could only utilize it as N type thin film transistors (TFT). Amorphous silicon is an unstable material for low temperature manufacturing process and having only one kind of transistor means high power consumption for circuit operations. This thesis covers the three major researches done on flexible TFTs and flexible electronic circuits. First the characterization of both amorphous silicon TFTs and newly emerging mixed oxide TFTs were performed and the stability of these two materials is compared. During the research, both TFTs were stress tested under various biasing conditions and the threshold voltage was extracted to observe the shift in the threshold which shows the degradation of the material. Secondly, the design of the first flexible CMOS TFTs and CMOS gates were covered. The circuits were built using both inorganic and organic components (for nMOS and pMOS transistors respectively) and functionality tests were performed on basic gates like inverter, NAND and NOR gates and the working results are documented. Thirdly, a novel large area sensor structure is demonstrated under the Electronic Textile project section. This project is based on the concept that all the flexible electronics are flexible in only one direction and can not be used for conforming irregular shaped objects or create an electronic cloth for various applications like display or sensing. A laser detector sensor array is designed for proof of concept and is laid in strips that can be cut after manufacturing and weaved to each other to create a real flexible electronic textile. The circuit designed uses a unique architecture that pushes the data in a single line and reads the data from the same line and compares the signal to the original state to determine a sensor excitation. This architecture enables 2 dimensional addressing through an external controller while eliminating the need for 2 dimensional active matrix style electrical connections between the fibers.
- Design of NMOS and CMOS thin film transistors and application to electronic textiles
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by Korhan Kaftanoglu