Ultra-thin and flexible CMOS technology: ISFET-based microsystem for biomedical applications

Vilouras, Anastasios (2021) Ultra-thin and flexible CMOS technology: ISFET-based microsystem for biomedical applications. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A new paradigm of silicon technology is the ultra-thin chip (UTC) technology and the emerging applications. Very thin integrated circuits (ICs) with through-silicon vias (TSVs) will allow the stacking and interconnection of multiple dies in a compact format allowing a migration towards three-dimensional ICs (3D-ICs). Also, extremely thin and therefore mechanically bendable silicon chips in conjunction with the emerging thin-film and organic semiconductor technologies will enhance the performance and functionality of large-area flexible electronic systems. However, UTC technology requires special attention related to the circuit design, fabrication, dicing and handling of ultra-thin chips as they have different physical properties compared to their bulky counterparts. Also, transistors and other active devices on UTCs experiencing variable bending stresses will suffer from the piezoresistive effect of silicon substrate which results in a shift of their operating point and therefore, an additional aspect should be considered during circuit design.
This thesis tries to address some of these challenges related to UTC technology by focusing initially on modelling of transistors on mechanically bendable Si-UTCs. The developed behavioural models are a combination of mathematical equations and extracted parameters from BSIM4 and BSIM6 modified by a set of equations describing the bending-induced stresses on silicon. The transistor models are written in Verilog-A and compiled in Cadence Virtuoso environment where they were simulated at different bending conditions.
To complement this, the verification of these models through experimental results is also presented. Two chips were designed using a 180 nm CMOS technology. The first chip includes nMOS and pMOS transistors with fixed channel width and two different channel lengths and two different channel orientations (0° and 90°) with respect to the wafer crystal orientation. The second chip includes inverter logic gates with different transistor sizes and orientations, as in the previous chip. Both chips were thinned down to ∼20m using dicing-before-grinding (DBG) prior to electrical characterisation at different bending conditions.
Furthermore, this thesis presents the first reported fully integrated CMOS-based ISFET microsystem on UTC technology. The design of the integrated CMOS-based ISFET chip with 512 integrated on-chip ISFET sensors along with their read-out and digitisation scheme is presented. The integrated circuits (ICs) are thinned down to ∼30m and the bulky, as well as thinned ICs, are electrically and electrochemically characterised. Also, the thesis presents the first reported mechanically bendable CMOS-based ISFET device demonstrating that mechanical deformation of the die can result in drift compensation through the exploitation of the piezoresistive nature of silicon. Finally, this thesis presents the studies towards the development of on-chip reference electrodes and biodegradable and ultra-thin biosensors for the detection of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Funder's Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Dahiya, Professor Ravinder and Cumming, Professor David
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Mr Anastasios Vilouras
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82122
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 12:40
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2023 17:04
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82122
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/82122
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