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Concept: Field-effect transistor


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


In this article, we report only 10 atomic layer thick, high mobility, transparent thin film transistors (TFTs) with ambipolar device characteristics fabricated on both a conventional silicon platform as well as on a flexible substrate. Monolayer graphene was used as metal electrodes, 3-4 atomic layers of h-BN were used as the gate dielectric, and finally bilayers of WSe2 were used as the semiconducting channel material for the TFTs. The field effect carrier mobility was extracted to be 45 cm(2)/(V s), which exceeds the mobility values of state of the art amorphous silicon based TFTs by ∼100 times. The active device stack of WSe2-hBN-graphene was found to be more than 88% transparent over the entire visible spectrum and the device characteristics were unaltered for in-plane mechanical strain of up to 2%. The device demonstrated remarkable temperature stability over 77-400 K. Low contact resistance value of 1.4 kΩ-μm, subthreshold slope of 90 mv/decade, current ON-OFF ratio of 10(7), and presence of both electron and hole conduction were observed in our all two-dimensional (2D) TFTs, which are extremely desirable but rarely reported characteristics of most of the organic and inorganic TFTs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of all 2D transparent TFT fabricated on flexible substrate along with the highest mobility and current ON-OFF ratio.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Silicon, Transistor, Field-effect transistor, Thin film, Thin-film transistor, Amorphous silicon, Thin films


Silicon transistors are expected to have new gate architectures, channel materials and switching mechanisms in ten years' time. The trend in transistor scaling has already led to a change in gate structure from two dimensions to three, used in fin field-effect transistors, to avoid problems inherent in miniaturization such as high off-state leakage current and the short-channel effect. At present, planar and fin architectures using III-V materials, specifically InGaAs, are being explored as alternative fast channels on silicon because of their high electron mobility and high-quality interface with gate dielectrics. The idea of surrounding-gate transistors, in which the gate is wrapped around a nanowire channel to provide the best possible electrostatic gate control, using InGaAs channels on silicon, however, has been less well investigated because of difficulties in integrating free-standing InGaAs nanostructures on silicon. Here we report the position-controlled growth of vertical InGaAs nanowires on silicon without any buffering technique and demonstrate surrounding-gate transistors using InGaAs nanowires and InGaAs/InP/InAlAs/InGaAs core-multishell nanowires as channels. Surrounding-gate transistors using core-multishell nanowire channels with a six-sided, high-electron-mobility transistor structure greatly enhance the on-state current and transconductance while keeping good gate controllability. These devices provide a route to making vertically oriented transistors for the next generation of field-effect transistors and may be useful as building blocks for wireless networks on silicon platforms.

Concepts: Integrated circuit, Semiconductor, Silicon, Transistor, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, Germanium, Transconductance


In this letter, we present an original demonstration of an associative learning neural network inspired by the famous Pavlov’s dogs experiment. A single nanoparticle organic memory field effect transistor (NOMFET) is used to implement each synapse. We show how the physical properties of this dynamic memristive device can be used to perform low-power write operations for the learning and implement short-term association using temporal coding and spike-timing-dependent plasticity-based learning. An electronic circuit was built to validate the proposed learning scheme with packaged devices, with good reproducibility despite the complex synaptic-like dynamic of the NOMFET in pulse regime.

Concepts: Neuroscience, Silicon, Transistor, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, Electronics, Electronic engineering, Memristor


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


Atomically thin two-dimensional materials have emerged as promising candidates for flexible and transparent electronic applications. Here we show non-volatile memory devices, based on field-effect transistors with large hysteresis, consisting entirely of stacked two-dimensional materials. Graphene and molybdenum disulphide were employed as both channel and charge-trapping layers, whereas hexagonal boron nitride was used as a tunnel barrier. In these ultrathin heterostructured memory devices, the atomically thin molybdenum disulphide or graphene-trapping layer stores charge tunnelled through hexagonal boron nitride, serving as a floating gate to control the charge transport in the graphene or molybdenum disulphide channel. By varying the thicknesses of two-dimensional materials and modifying the stacking order, the hysteresis and conductance polarity of the field-effect transistor can be controlled. These devices show high mobility, high on/off current ratio, large memory window and stable retention, providing a promising route towards flexible and transparent memory devices utilizing atomically thin two-dimensional materials.

Concepts: Transistor, Graphite, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, Computer storage, Non-volatile memory, Boron nitride, Flash memory


Photoresponse and ambipolar charge transport in organic bulk heterojunctions (BHJ) is investigated using field-effect transistors (FET) based on two donors, poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and 3,6-bis(5-(benzofuran-2-yl)thiophen-2-yl)-2,5-bis(2-ethylhexyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione (DPP(TBFu)(2)) blends with [6,6]-phenyl-C70-butyric acid methyl ester (PC(70)BM) acceptor. Upon 100 mW/cm(2) AM 1.5 G illumination, P3HT:PC(70)BM shows an equivalent hole and electron current together with a largely enhanced photoresponse in the FET. The DPP(TBFu)(2):PC(70)BM blends display an electron-dominating transport along with showing a relatively poor photoresponse in FETs upon irradiation. By comparing the two systems, it suggests that DPP(TBFu)(2):PC(70)BM possesses a less-efficient charge separation assisted by electric fields after exciton dissociation. The FET results correlate well to the solar cell device performance and provide further understanding and optimizing of solution-processed DPP small molecule solar cells.

Concepts: DNA, Electron, Electric charge, Electric current, Solar cell, Field-effect transistor, Germanium, P-n junction


A diketopyrrolopyrrole-thiazolothiazole copolymer with a short π-π stacking distance (3.52 Å), due to the introduction of heteroaromatic rings, exhibits a high charge mobility above 3.40 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) at a relatively gentle annealing temperature.

Concepts: Transistor, Organic chemistry, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, Introduction, Steve Morse


The molecular orientation and microstructure of films of the high-mobility semiconducting polymer poly(N,N-bis-2-octyldodecylnaphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis-dicarboximide-2,6-diyl-alt-5,5-2,2-bithiophene) (P(NDI2OD-T2)) are probed using a combination of grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) and near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy. In particular a novel approach is used whereby the bulk molecular orientation and surface molecular orientation are simultaneously measured on the same sample using NEXAFS spectroscopy in an angle-resolved transmission experiment. Furthermore, the acquisition of bulk-sensitive NEXAFS data enables a direct comparison of the information provided by GIWAXS and NEXAFS. By comparison of the bulk-sensitive and surface-sensitive NEXAFS data, a distinctly different molecular orientation is observed at the surface of the film compared to the bulk. While a more “face-on” orientation of the conjugated backbone is observed in the bulk of the film, consistent with the lamella orientation observed by GIWAXS, a more “edge-on” orientation is observed at the surface of the film with surface-sensitive NEXAFS spectroscopy. This distinct edge-on surface orientation explains the high in-plane mobility that is achieved in top-gate P(NDI2OD-T2) field-effect transistors (FETs), while the bulk face-on texture explains the high out-of-plane mobilities that are observed in time-of-flight and diode measurements. These results also stress that GIWAXS lacks the surface sensitivity required to probe the microstructure of the accumulation layer that supports charge transport in organic FETs and hence may not necessarily be appropriate for correlating film microstructure and FET charge transport.

Concepts: Scientific method, Chemistry, Scattering, Transistor, Hypothesis, Bipolar junction transistor, Field-effect transistor, Depletion region


In this work a novel biosensor for arginine determination based on the urease inhibition effect has been proposed. Ion-selective field effect transistors were used as transducers. Urease immobilized in glutaraldehyde vapor served as a biorecognition element of the biosensor. Significant part of the work was aimed at proving the urease inhibition by arginine. Optimal concentration of urea for arginine determination was chosen. Detection limit for arginine was 0.05mM. The biosensor selectivity towards different amino acids was studied. The results of quantitative determination of l-arginine in the real sample (a drinkable solution “Arginine Veyron”) were in good agreement with the producer’s data (a relative error was 5.2%). The biosensor showed a good reproducibility of arginine determination.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Acid, Amine, Ammonia, Field-effect transistor, Arginine, Ornithine