Academic and research departmentsFaculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Advanced Technology Institute, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Silicon-based digital electronics have evolved over decades through an aggressive scaling process following Moore’s law with increasingly complex device structures. Simultaneously, large-area electronics have continued to rely on the same field-effect transistor structure with minimal evolution. This limitation has resulted in less than ideal circuit designs, with increased complexity to account for shortcomings in material properties and process control. At present, this situation is holding back the development of novel systems required for printed and flexible electronic applications beyond the Internet of Things. In this work we demonstrate the opportunity offered by the source-gated transistor’s unique properties for low-cost, highly functional large-area applications in two extremely compact circuit blocks. Polysilicon common-source amplifiers show 49 dB gain, the highest reported for a twotransistor unipolar circuit. Current mirrors fabricated in polysilicon and InGaZnO have, in addition to excellent current copying performance, the ability to control the temperature dependence (degrees of positive, neutral or negative) of output current solely by choice of relative transistor geometry, giving further flexibility to the design engineer. Application examples are proposed, including local amplification of sensor output for improved signal integrity, as well as temperature-regulated delay stages and timing circuits for homeostatic operation in future wearables. Numerous applications will benefit from these highly competitive compact circuit designs with robust performance, improved energy efficiency and tolerance to geometrical variations: sensor front-ends, temperature sensors, pixel drivers, bias analog blocks and high-gain amplifiers.
Paper books offer a unique physical feel, which supports the reading experience through enhanced browsing, bookmarking, freeform annotations, memory and reduced eye strain. In contrast, electronic solutions, such as tablets and e-readers, offer interactive links, updatable information, easier content sharing, and efficient collaboration. To combine the best aspects of paper and digital information for reading, we demonstrate two mechanisms for augmenting paper with light sensors that trigger digital links on a nearby smartphone. Light Tags on every page of a book are used in a first demonstration to identify which pages are open. These are replaced with an electronic Magic Bookmark in a second demonstration, avoiding the need to instrument every page.
A new form of interaction with digital displays is described, using the pages and binding of a physical book as the interface. This leads to a form of augmented book, or a‐book, which can seamlessly trigger multimedia content on a nearby device using embedded light, pressure or touch sensors.
Presentations and Other Publications
Exhibition presentation (NovaCentrix):
“Next Generation Paper”, iDTechEx November 2019, Santa Clara, USA
“Next Generation Paper: A versatile augmented book platform”, InnoLAE January 2020, Cambridge, UK
Oral presentation & iZone exhibition:
“Using physical books as interfaces to digital displays”, Display Week August 2020, virtual conference (originally San Francisco, USA).