Low-Voltage Thin Film Transistors


Flexible, wearable electronic devices will offer new opportunities for improved connectivity, smart objects and healthcare. The fulfilment of such devices is contingent upon reducing the power consumption of the electronics so that the device is easily powered by a battery. However, reducing the power consumption of thin-film transistors – one of the fundamental components of flexible electronics – while maintaining high yields and low costs has proven difficult.

A research team at the University of Manchester has developed a method to produce such low voltage semiconductors using a solid-state electrolyte dielectric. The high capacitance of the dielectric – a result of ionic conduction – allows for low voltage device operation. While other techniques reduce the dielectric thickness to achieve high capacitance – sacrificing the quality of the insulating behaviour – the ionic conduction in the solid-state electrolyte enables thick dielectric layers to maintain high capacitance and thus low voltage operation.

The technology

The invention is a method for manufacturing Thin Film Transistors operating at less than 1V. This technology offers a means of producing low voltage devices at reduced cost and improved yield using existing processes and will find application in several fields, including displays, sensors and wearables.

Key benefits

  • The ability to operate at lower voltage and lower noise levels than conventional TFTs.
  • Lower production costs and higher yields mean that larger displays and sensors can be made more economically.
  • Lower operating voltages allows displays and sensors to operate for longer on battery operation.
  • Lower noise expands the range over which these sensors can operate.
  • Inherent flexibility allows use in wearable and other flexible applications.
  • Highly uniform pinhole-free dielectric (low leakage current).
  • High sensitivity to pH and humidity for sensing purposes.
  • Compatible with current industry processing techniques.
  • Highly transparent.
  • Room temperature deposition, compatible with flexible substrates.
  • Opportunity

    UMIP is seeking interest from companies operating in relevant sectors for discussions about collaboration and licensing.

    Opportunity No: 20160170


    UMIP Contact

    Simon Clarke
    IP Development Manager

    T: +44 (0)161 306 8510
    E: simon.clarke@umip.com