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New TFT Architecture Significantly Improves Performance


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Thin film transistors (TFTs) are normally found in low-power, low-frequency devices because they lack the performance necessary for more powerful technologies. That could be changing soon though, thanks to researchers at the University of Alberta and the new architecture they have designed. This work could be used to create advance flexible technologies.

Previous attempts to improve TFTs have been hampered by the necessity to develop new materials or improve old ones for the metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) architecture used. By creating a new design, the Alberta researchers avoided that problem. This new design utilizes bipolar action, which means both electrons and the positively charged holes they leave behind are used. To achieve this, the researchers had to overcome the challenge of creating an inversion hole layer in a wide-bandgap semiconductor. With that, the researchers could combine semiconductor and insulating layers that holes could be injected into. These holes then increased the likelihood of electrons tunneling across the insulating barrier, which previously had been seen as a problem for TFTs.

This new transistor can handle at least 10 times the power modern commercial TFTs can, and this architecture allows it to be easily scaled to improve performance and keep up with miniaturization. The next step is to get the transistors into a fully flexible medium and put them to use in different areas.

Source: University of Alberta

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