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Charge Transport in Curved Electronics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Labram Group in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Oregon State University is looking to hire a full-time PhD student starting September 2019. You will be funded by the Labram Group, and will work on experimental and theoretical projects in the development of next-generation flexible electronics. Candidates must have received an undergraduate degree in physics, mathematics, or electrical engineering by 20th September 2019. Interested candidates should use the from below to submit a full CV / resume, along with a brief statement on research interests (roughly half a page) by 30th April 2019. Informal inquires can be made via .

Oregon State University is located in Corvallis, in the beautiful Pacific-Northwest of the United States. Further information can be found below:
• The Labram Group: http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~labramj/.
• Oregon State University: http://oregonstate.edu/.
• Information about Corvallis: https://visitcorvallis.com/.

The future of electronics will be defined by a diversification in its physical form, enabling devices to be cheap, ubiquitous and disposable. This vision includes conformal, stretchable, transparent and bio-compatible electronics embedded into our natural surroundings, present whenever needed and enabled by simple and effortless interactions. If one were able to print circuits, at a comparable cost to printing a newspaper, then it is conceivable that transforming normal objects into smart-objects would be as routine as affixing a safety sticker. While new electronic materials compatible with low-cost manufacturing techniques (such as printing) have been intensely studied, the mathematical framework for analysis of circuits remains identical to that of traditional, planar, silicon-based electronics, in which charge always travel in straight lines. Flexible, printed electronics necessitates a generalization of device models that incorporate non-planar and non-static pathways for electronic charge.

As a relic of silicon’s enduring dominance, all employed device physics models are still derived assuming a linear device geometry. A notable example is the gradual channel approximation for TFTs, where the gate field is derived by solving Gauss’ law for an infinite plane. Clearly for next-generation (flexible, conformal, stretchable) electronics, such assumptions will not generally be true, and if the community is serious about making ubiquitous flexible electronics a commercial reality, a more comprehensive set of models is undeniably a prerequisite.

This project involves the derivation and experimental verification of a mathematical framework to reliably predict and understand the behavior of electronic devices in various non-planar geometries and under various deformations. By elucidating the nature and extent of deviations from ideal behavior, you will be able to make statements about the reliability of thin-film electronic devices with various unique physical form factors. Understanding these reliability issues will inform as to whether more complex device architectures (e.g. multiple gate TFTs) or compensation circuits are necessary for commercialization. As is the case for traditional silicon-based technology, an exhaustive understanding of device behavior is mandatory for commercial flexible electronics to be possible.

Funding Notes

The project is suitable for candidates who have, or expect to obtain, at 1st class or 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in, physics, mathematics, or electrical engineering.

References

Metal oxide semiconductor thin-film transistors for flexible electronics, Petti et. al. APR, 3 2016, 021303, https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.4953034

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