Flexible thin film circuitry enabling ubiquitous electronics via post-fabrication customization (Presentation Recording)
For decades, the electronics industry has been accurately described by Moore's Law, where the march towards increasing density and smaller feature sizes has enabled continuous cost reductions and performance improvements. With flexible electronics, this perpetual scaling is not foreseen to occur. Instead, the industry will be dominated by Wright's Law, first proposed in 1936, where increasing demand for high volumes of product will drive costs down. We have demonstrated thin film based circuitry compatible with flexible substrates with high levels of functionality designed for such a high volume industry. This includes a generic 8-bit microprocessor totaling more than 3.5k TFTs operating at 2.1 kHz. We have also developed a post fabrication programming technique via inkjet printing of conductive spots to form a one-time programmable instruction generator, allowing customization of the processor for a specific task. The combination demonstrates the possibility to achieve the high volume production of identical products necessary to reap the benefits promised by Wright's Law, while still retaining the individualization necessary for application differentiation. This is of particular importance in the area of item level identification via RFID, where low cost and individualized identification are necessary. Remotely powered RFID tags have been fabricated using an oxide semiconductor based TFT process. This process is compatible with the post-fabrication printing process to detail individual identification codes, with the goal of producing low cost, high volume flexible tags. The goal is to produce tags compatible with existing NFC communication protocols in order to communicate with readers that are already ubiquitous in the market.