Surrey's simplified circuit design could revolutionise how wearables are manufactured

August 03, 2020

Researchers have demonstrated the use of a ground-breaking circuit design that could transform manufacturing processes for wearable technology.

Silicon-based electronics have aggressively become smaller and more efficient over a short period of time, leading to major advances in devices such as mobile phones. However, large-area electronics, such as display screens, have not seen similar advances because they rely on a device, thin-film transistor (TFT), which has serious limitations.

In a study published by IEEE Sensors Journal, researchers from the University of Surrey, University of Cambridge and the National Research Institute in Rome have demonstrated the use of a pioneering circuit design that uses an alternative type of device, the source-gated transistor (SGT), to create compact circuit blocks.

In the study, the researchers showed that they are able to achieve the same functionality from two SGTs as would normally be the case from today's devices that use roughly 12 TFTs - improving performance, reducing waste and making the new process far more cost effective.

The research team believe that the new fabrication process could result in a generation of ultralightweight, flexible electronics for wearables and sensors.

Dr Radu Sporea, lead author of the study and Lecturer in Semiconductor Devices at the University of Surrey, said: "We are entering what may be another golden age of electronics, with the arrival of 5G and IoT enabled devices. However, the way we have manufactured many of our electronics has increasingly become overcomplicated and has hindered the performance of many devices.

"Our design offers a much simpler build process than regular thin-film transistors. Source-gated transistor circuits may also be cheaper to manufacture on a large scale because their simplicity means there is less waste in the form of rejected components. This elegant design of large area electronics could result in future phones, fitness tracker or smart sensors that are energy efficient, thinner and far more flexible than the ones we are able to produce today."
-end-


University of Surrey

Related Electronics Articles from Brightsurf:

Artificial materials for more efficient electronics
The discovery by a team of the University of Geneva of an unprecedented physical effect in a new artificial material marks a significant milestone in the lengthy process of developing ''made-to-order'' materials and more energy-efficient electronics.

The new tattoo: Drawing electronics on skin
One day, people could monitor their own health conditions by simply picking up a pencil and drawing a bioelectronic device on their skin.

Lighting the way to porous electronics and sensors
Researchers from Osaka University have created porous titanium dioxide ceramic thin films, at high temperatures and room temperature.

The ink of the future in printed electronics
A research group led by Simone Fabiano at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, has created an organic material with superb conductivity that doesn't need to be doped.

Integrating electronics onto physical prototypes
MIT researchers have invented a way to integrate 'breadboards' -- flat platforms widely used for electronics prototyping -- directly onto physical products.

Something from nothing: Using waste heat to power electronics
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba developed an improved thermocell design to convert heat into electricity.

Electronics at the speed of light
A European team of researchers including physicists from the University of Konstanz has found a way of transporting electrons at times below the femtosecond range by manipulating them with light.

Electronics integrated to the muscle via 'Kirigami'
A research team in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering and the Electronics-Inspired Interdisciplinary Research Institute (EIIRIS) at Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a donut-shaped kirigami device for electromyography (EMG) recordings.

Creating 2D heterostructures for future electronics
New research integrates nanomaterials into heterostructures, an important step toward creating nanoelectronics.

Researchers report a new way to produce curvy electronics
Contact lenses that can monitor your health as well as correct your eyesight aren't science fiction, but an efficient manufacturing method has remained elusive.

Read More: Electronics News and Electronics Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.