Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: CMOS


The timely detection of viremia in HIV-infected patients receiving antiviral treatment is key to ensuring effective therapy and preventing the emergence of drug resistance. In high HIV burden settings, the cost and complexity of diagnostics limit their availability. We have developed a novel complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chip based, pH-mediated, point-of-care HIV-1 viral load monitoring assay that simultaneously amplifies and detects HIV-1 RNA. A novel low-buffer HIV-1 pH-LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) assay was optimised and incorporated into a pH sensitive CMOS chip. Screening of 991 clinical samples (164 on the chip) yielded a sensitivity of 95% (in vitro) and 88.8% (on-chip) at >1000 RNA copies/reaction across a broad spectrum of HIV-1 viral clades. Median time to detection was 20.8 minutes in samples with >1000 copies RNA. The sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility are close to that required to produce a point-of-care device which would be of benefit in resource poor regions, and could be performed on an USB stick or similar low power device.

Concepts: Antiretroviral drug, HIV, Viral load, Type I and type II errors, Integrated circuit, Transistor, CMOS, File system


Beam profiles are commonly measured with complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS) or charge coupled devices (CCD). The devices are fast and reliable but expensive. By making use of the fact that the Bayer-filter in commercial webcams is transparent in the near infra-red (>800 nm) and their CCD chips are sensitive up to about 1100 nm, we demonstrate a cheap and simple way to measure laser beam profiles with a resolution down to around ±1 μm, which is close to the resolution of the knife-edge technique.

Concepts: Electron, Light, Laser, Oxide, CMOS, Infrared, Light beam, Laser beam profiler


The capture of transient scenes at high imaging speed has been long sought by photographers, with early examples being the well known recording in 1878 of a horse in motion and the 1887 photograph of a supersonic bullet. However, not until the late twentieth century were breakthroughs achieved in demonstrating ultrahigh-speed imaging (more than 10(5) frames per second). In particular, the introduction of electronic imaging sensors based on the charge-coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology revolutionized high-speed photography, enabling acquisition rates of up to 10(7) frames per second. Despite these sensors' widespread impact, further increasing frame rates using CCD or CMOS technology is fundamentally limited by their on-chip storage and electronic readout speed. Here we demonstrate a two-dimensional dynamic imaging technique, compressed ultrafast photography (CUP), which can capture non-repetitive time-evolving events at up to 10(11) frames per second. Compared with existing ultrafast imaging techniques, CUP has the prominent advantage of measuring an x-y-t (x, y, spatial coordinates; t, time) scene with a single camera snapshot, thereby allowing observation of transient events with temporal resolution as tens of picoseconds. Furthermore, akin to traditional photography, CUP is receive-only, and so does not need the specialized active illumination required by other single-shot ultrafast imagers. As a result, CUP can image a variety of luminescent–such as fluorescent or bioluminescent–objects. Using CUP, we visualize four fundamental physical phenomena with single laser shots only: laser pulse reflection and refraction, photon racing in two media, and faster-than-light propagation of non-information (that is, motion that appears faster than the speed of light but cannot convey information). Given CUP’s capability, we expect it to find widespread applications in both fundamental and applied sciences, including biomedical research.

Concepts: Optics, Light, Spacetime, 20th century, CMOS, Image sensor, Image processing, Frame rate


A remarkable feature of modern silicon electronics is its ability to remain physically invariant, almost indefinitely for practical purposes. Although this characteristic is a hallmark of applications of integrated circuits that exist today, there might be opportunities for systems that offer the opposite behavior, such as implantable devices that function for medically useful time frames but then completely disappear via resorption by the body. We report a set of materials, manufacturing schemes, device components, and theoretical design tools for a silicon-based complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology that has this type of transient behavior, together with integrated sensors, actuators, power supply systems, and wireless control strategies. An implantable transient device that acts as a programmable nonantibiotic bacteriocide provides a system-level example.

Concepts: Oxygen, Engineering, Integrated circuit, Semiconductor device, Transistor, Germanium, CMOS, Logic gate


Temperature sensors are routinely found in devices used to monitor the environment, the human body, industrial equipment, and beyond. In many such applications, the energy available from batteries or the power available from energy harvesters is extremely limited due to limited available volume, and thus the power consumption of sensing should be minimized in order to maximize operational lifetime. Here we present a new method to transduce and digitize temperature at very low power levels. Specifically, two pA current references are generated via small tunneling-current metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) that are independent and proportional to temperature, respectively, which are then used to charge digitally-controllable banks of metal-insulator-metal (MIM) capacitors that, via a discrete-time feedback loop that equalizes charging time, digitize temperature directly. The proposed temperature sensor was integrated into a silicon microchip and occupied 0.15 mm(2) of area. Four tested microchips were measured to consume only 113 pW with a resolution of 0.21 °C and an inaccuracy of ±1.65 °C, which represents a 628× reduction in power compared to prior-art without a significant reduction in performance.

Concepts: Thermodynamics, Integrated circuit, Transistor, Field-effect transistor, CMOS, Sensor, MOSFET, Power


Ambipolar transport behavior in isoindigo-based conjugated polymers is observed for the first time. Fluorination on the isoindigo unit effectively lowers the LUMO level of the polymer and significantly increases the electron mobility from 10-2 to 0.43 cm2 V-1 s-1 while maintaining high hole mobility to 1.85 cm2 V-1 s-1 for FET devices fabricated in ambient. Further investigation indicates that fluorination also affects the interchain interactions of polymer backbones, thus leading to different polymer packing in thin films.

Concepts: Polymer, Semiconductor, Transistor, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, CMOS, Electron mobility, Drift velocity


As MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) detectors allow dose measurements in real time, the interest in these dosimeters is growing. The aim of this study was to investigate the dosimetric properties of commercially available TN-502RD-H MOSFET silicon detectors (Best Medical Canada, Ottawa, Canada) in order to use them for in vivo dosimetry in interventional radiology and for dose reconstruction in case of overexposure. Reproducibility of the measurements, dose rate dependence, and dose response of the MOSFET detectors have been studied with a Co source. Influence of the dose rate, frequency, and pulse duration on MOSFET responses has also been studied in pulsed x-ray fields. Finally, in order to validate the integrated dose given by MOSFET detectors, MOSFETs and TLDs (LiF:Mg,Cu,P) were fixed on an Alderson-Rando phantom in the conditions of an interventional neuroradiology procedure, and their responses have been compared. The results of this study show the suitability of MOSFET detectors for in vivo dosimetry in interventional radiology and for dose reconstruction in case of accident, provided a well-corrected energy dependence, a pulse duration equal to or higher than 10 ms, and an optimized contact between the detector and the skin of the patient are achieved.

Concepts: Radiology, Integrated circuit, Semiconductor device, Transistor, Bipolar junction transistor, CMOS, MOSFET, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld


This paper presents the fabrication and characterization of energy harvesting thermoelectric micro generators using the commercial complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process. The micro generator consists of 33 thermocouples in series. Thermocouple materials are p-type and n-type polysilicon since they have a large Seebeck coefficient difference. The output power of the micro generator depends on the temperature difference in the hot and cold parts of the thermocouples. In order to increase this temperature difference, the hot part of the thermocouples is suspended to reduce heat-sinking. The micro generator needs a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures of hot part, which the post-process includes an anisotropic dry etching to etch the sacrificial oxide layer and an isotropic dry etching to remove the silicon substrate. Experiments show that the output power of the micro generator is 9.4 mW at a temperature difference of 15 K.

Concepts: Oxygen, Integrated circuit, Semiconductor, Transistor, CMOS, Thermoelectric effect, Thermogenerator, Radioisotope thermoelectric generator


We demonstrate straightforward fabrication of highly sensitive biosensor arrays based on field-effect transistors, using an efficient high-throughput, large-area patterning process. Chemical lift-off lithography is used to construct field-effect transistor arrays with high spatial precision suitable for the fabrication of both micrometer- and nanometer-scale devices. Sol-gel processing is used to deposit ultrathin (~4 nm) In2O3 films as semiconducting channel layers. The aqueous sol-gel process produces uniform In2O3 coatings with thicknesses of a few nanometers over large areas through simple spin-coating, and only low-temperature thermal annealing of the coatings is required. The ultrathin In2O3 enables construction of highly sensitive and selective biosensors through immobilization of specific aptamers to the channel surface; the ability to detect subnanomolar concentrations of dopamine is demonstrated.

Concepts: Sol-gel, Semiconductor, Transistor, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, DNA field-effect transistor, CMOS, Biosensor


A new X-ray image sensor is demonstrated with oxide thin-film transistor backplane and HgI2 sensing material. It displays outstanding image quality under a low X-ray exposure and a low electric field. It is promising as a state-of-the-art device to realize highly resolved images at a low X-ray dose for a variety of medical X-ray imaging applications.

Concepts: X-ray, Digital photography, IMAGE, CMOS, Photography, Digital camera