The work presented in this manuscript has the overarching theme of radiation. The two forms of radiation of interest are neutrons, i.e. nuclear, and electric fields. The ability to detect such forms of radiation have significant security implications that could also be extended to very practical industrial applications. The goal is therefore to detect, and even image, such radiation sources.
The method to do so revolved around the concept of building large-area sensor arrays. By covering a large area, we can increase the probability of detection and gather more data to build a more complete and clearer view of the environment. Large-area circuitry can be achieved cost-effectively by leveraging the thin-film transistor process of the display industry. With production of displays increasing with the explosion of mobile devices and continued growth in sales of flat panel monitors and television, the cost to build a unit continues to decrease.
Using a thin-film process also allows for flexible electronics, which could be taken advantage of in-house at the Flexible Electronics and Display Center. Flexible electronics implies new form factors and applications that would not otherwise be possible with their single crystal counterparts. To be able to effectively use thin-film technology, novel ways of overcoming the drawbacks of the thin-film process, namely the lower performance scale.
The two deliverable devices that underwent development are a preamplifier used in an active pixel sensor for neutron detection and a passive electric field imaging array. This thesis will cover the theory and process behind realizing these devices.