Arizona State University's Flexible Display Center (FDC) and the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) today announced that they have successfully produced CMOS circuitry on a flexible plastic substrate. Primarily designed to advance flexible electronics, the new plastic CMOS circuits have demonstrated exceptional power efficiency, one-third the power consumption of traditional thin film transistor circuitry, making flexible CMOS ideal for potential applications such as smart medical bandages or triage patches.
“The development of flexible CMOS transistors is a significant advance over existing circuits based on amorphous silicon,” said Bruce Gnade, vice president for research at UT Dallas. “This represents the first step towards creating higher-level flexible electronics circuitry, such as logic and memory.”
The research and development project has focused on integrating two types of thin film transistors (TFTs), N-type amorphous silicon and P-type organic silicon, to fabricate CMOS logic gates on flexible polyethylene napthalate (PEN), a high-temperature polyester film. The electrical duality between the NMOS and PMOS transistors achieves dramatically reduced power consumption for flexible circuits.
“Our research and development work with UT Dallas is designed to accelerate the development of flexible electronics. Today’s announcement is the platform for achieving that goal,” stated David Allee, Director of R&D for Backplane Electronics at the FDC. “Offering product flexibility has inherent benefits from a design perspective. It also offers the advantage of being extremely power efficient, especially when compared to rigid devices. Going forward, the capability we have demonstrated with UT Dallas will open up a world of possibilities in terms of applications.”