Next-generation mobile displays with additional in-panel functionalities
Imec develops disruptive technologies for image sensors based on thin-film photodetectors. Ultra-thin, submicron active layers with absorption coefficients much higher than that of e.g. silicon enable new form factors and applications. When integrated with a thin-film transistor backplane, thin-film photodetectors can serve as a basis for large-area, flexible sensors that can be used for medical or industrial x-ray imaging or for conformable, curved focal planes. Moreover, side-by-side integration of such photodetectors and light emitting pixels paves the way to novel additional functionalities for tomorrow's mobile displays. The thin-film transistor has a charge carrier mobility of about 20 cm2/Vs, and can only carry electrons, meaning that only n-type transistors exist. Furthermore, the transistor dimensions are not strongly scaled, and of the order of 0.5 to 2 micron. The goal of this PhD is to elaborate electronic readout circuits for both the imager matrix as the peripheral readout in thin-film electronics taking into account the advantages of thin-film transistor technologies. The PhD student should also investigate scalable photodetector pixel arrays, which improves transparency needed for double-sided CT-imaging or heterogeneous integration with display pixels for 3D touch opportunities and in-panel fingerprint detection. In addition to design, the PhD student will also be responsible for the circuit and matrix measurements, comparison of experiments and modelling. Designs will be processed in the imec cleanrooms. The candidate PhD student has a solid background in electronic engineering and circuit design. Also, a strong affinity to technology and physics is a must for this research. The PhD work will take place in the large area electronics (LAE) department in imec. The group counts about 45 people with extensive expertise in thin-film processing and design, and has 15 years of experience. The group has a very strong international reputation in this field, with multiple ISSCC publications and an H-index for the thin-film electronics activity of 50.