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Title: Ultra-thin silicon technology for tactile sensors
Author: Gupta, Shoubhik
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 3891
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2019
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In order to meet the requirements of high performance flexible electronics in fast growing portable consumer electronics, robotics and new fields such as Internet of Things (IoT), new techniques such as electronics based on nanostructures, molecular electronics and quantum electronics have emerged recently. The importance given to the silicon chips with thickness below 50 μm is particularly interesting as this will advance the 3D IC technology as well as open new directions for high-performance flexible electronics. This doctoral thesis focusses on the development of silicon-based ultra-thin chip (UTC) for the next generation flexible electronics. UTCs, on one hand can provide processing speed at par with state-of-the-art CMOS technology, and on the other provide the mechanical flexibility to allow smooth integration on flexible substrates. These development form the motivation behind the work presented in this thesis. As the thickness of any silicon piece decreases, the flexural rigidity decreases. The flexural rigidity is defined as the force couple required to bend a non-rigid structure to a unit curvature, and therefore the flexibility increases. The new approach presented in this thesis for achieving thin silicon exploits existing and well-established silicon infrastructure, process, and design modules. The thin chips of thicknesses ranging between 15 μm - 30 μm, were obtained from processed bulk wafer using anisotropic chemical etching. The thesis also presents thin wafer transfer using two-step transfer printing approach, packaging by lamination or encapsulation between two flexible layerand methods to get the electrical connections out of the chip. The devices realised on the wafer as part of front-end processing, consisted capacitors and transistors, have been tested to analyse the effect of bending on the electrical characteristics. The capacitance of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitors increases by ~5% during bending and similar shift is observed in flatband and threshold voltages. Similarly, the carrier mobility in the channel region of metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) increases by 9% in tensile bending and decreases by ~5% in compressive bending. The analytical model developed to capture the effect of banding on device performance showed close matching with the experimental results. In order to employ these devices as tactile sensors, two types of piezoelectric materials are investigated, and used in extended gate configuration with the MOSFET. Firstly, a nanocomposite of Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene), P(VDF-TrFE) and barium titanate (BT) was developed. The composite, due to opposite piezo and pyroelectric coefficients of constituents, was able to suppress the sensitivity towards temperature when force and temperature varied together, The sensitivity to force in extended gate configuration was measured to be 630 mV/N, and sensitivity to temperature was 6.57 mV/oC, when it was varied during force application. The process optimisation for sputtering piezoelectric Aluminium Nitride (AlN) was also carried out with many parametric variation. AlN does not require poling to exhibit piezoelectricity and therefore offers an attractive alternative for the piezoelectric layer used in devices such as POSFET (where piezoelectric material is directly deposited over the gate area of MOSFET). The optimised process gave highly orientated columnar structure AlN with piezoelectric coefficient of 5.9 pC/N and when connected in extended gate configuration, a sensitivity (normalised change in drain current per unit force) of 2.65 N-1 was obtained.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: T Technology (General) ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering