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Micromachines, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 122 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Insufficient angiogenesis and bacterial infections are common complications in chronic wound healing. With the use of a microfluidic system, we engineered microparticles with encapsulated nanoparticles. This dual delivery system consisting of antibiotic-loaded nanoparticles inside the growth-factor-releasing microparticles helps to fight bacterial infection while promoting angiogenesis. We believe that this highly tunable drug delivery platform offers countless possibilities for the synthesis of tailored nano-in-microparticles with various properties that may have broad applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
The Characteristics and Locking Process of Nonlinear MEMS Gyroscopes
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020233 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 684
Abstract
With the miniaturization of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gyroscopes, it is necessary to study their nonlinearity. The phase-frequency characteristics, which affect the start-up time, are crucial for guaranteeing the gyroscopes’ applicability. Nevertheless, although the amplitude-frequency (A-f) effect, one of the most obvious problems in [...] Read more.
With the miniaturization of micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) gyroscopes, it is necessary to study their nonlinearity. The phase-frequency characteristics, which affect the start-up time, are crucial for guaranteeing the gyroscopes’ applicability. Nevertheless, although the amplitude-frequency (A-f) effect, one of the most obvious problems in nonlinearity, has been well studied, the phase response of nonlinear gyroscopes is rarely mentioned. In this work, an elaborate study on the characteristics and locking process of nonlinear MEMS gyroscopes is reported. We solved the dynamic equation using the harmonic balance method and simulated the phase-locked loop (PLL) actuation process with an iterative calculation method. It was shown that there existed an apparent overhanging and multi-valued phenomenon in both the amplitude–frequency and phase–frequency curves of nonlinear gyroscopes. Meanwhile, it was ascertained by our simulations that the locking time of PLL was retarded by the nonlinearity under certain conditions. Moreover, experiments demonstrating the effect of nonlinearity were aggravated by the high quality factor of the drive mode due to the instability of the vibration amplitude. A nonlinear PLL (NPLL) containing an integrator was designed to accelerate the locking process. The results show that the start-up time was reduced by an order of magnitude when the appropriate integral coefficient was used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS/NEMS Sensors: Fabrication and Application, Volume II)
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Open AccessCommunication
Development of a Strain Sensor Matrix on Mobilized Flexible Substrate for the Imaging of Wind Pressure Distribution
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020232 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
This paper presents a novel flexible sensor for monitoring wind pressure distribution. Based on the concept of “flexible mechatronics”, a suspended structure was incorporated into the matrix of a resistive-strain sensor in a plastic film to make the sensor mechanically movable against the [...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel flexible sensor for monitoring wind pressure distribution. Based on the concept of “flexible mechatronics”, a suspended structure was incorporated into the matrix of a resistive-strain sensor in a plastic film to make the sensor mechanically movable against the wind. Screen printing and laser cutting were confirmed to be satisfactory methods for fabricating the proposed device structure. As a result, the visualization of wind pressure was successfully demonstrated by the fabricated sensor sheet and an imaging-display-creation software. The results of this study show that a mechanically functionalized substrate opens up new avenues for flexible electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Antennas and Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Magnetically Driven Bionic Millirobots with a Low-Delay Automated Actuation System for Bioparticles Manipulation
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020231 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
This paper presents a semi-automatic actuation system which can achieve bio-particles tracking, transportation, and high-precision motion control of robots in a microfluidic chip. This system is mainly applied in magnetically driven robots. An innovative manta ray-like robot was designed to increase stability of [...] Read more.
This paper presents a semi-automatic actuation system which can achieve bio-particles tracking, transportation, and high-precision motion control of robots in a microfluidic chip. This system is mainly applied in magnetically driven robots. An innovative manta ray-like robot was designed to increase stability of robots in a non-contaminated manipulation environment. A multilayer piezo actuator was applied to generate high-frequency vibration to decrease the friction between robots and the glass substrate. We also set up a user-friendly GUI (Graphical User Interface) and realized robot tracking and predetermined trajectory motion through excellent algorithms using Python and C++. In biotechnology, precise transportation of cells is used for the enucleation, microinjection, and investigation of the characteristics of a single cell. Being optimized, the parameters of the robot can effectively reach 10 µm in actuation precision and a maximum actuation speed of 200 mm/s. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Optical Frequency Combs in Quadratically Nonlinear Resonators
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020230 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
Optical frequency combs are one of the most remarkable inventions in recent decades. Originally conceived as the spectral counterpart of the train of short pulses emitted by mode-locked lasers, frequency combs have also been subsequently generated in continuously pumped microresonators, through third-order parametric [...] Read more.
Optical frequency combs are one of the most remarkable inventions in recent decades. Originally conceived as the spectral counterpart of the train of short pulses emitted by mode-locked lasers, frequency combs have also been subsequently generated in continuously pumped microresonators, through third-order parametric processes. Quite recently, direct generation of optical frequency combs has been demonstrated in continuous-wave laser-pumped optical resonators with a second-order nonlinear medium inside. Here, we present a concise introduction to such quadratic combs and the physical mechanism that underlies their formation. We mainly review our recent experimental and theoretical work on formation and dynamics of quadratic frequency combs. We experimentally demonstrated comb generation in two configurations: a cavity for second harmonic generation, where combs are generated both around the pump frequency and its second harmonic and a degenerate optical parametric oscillator, where combs are generated around the pump frequency and its subharmonic. The experiments have been supported by a thorough theoretical analysis, aimed at modelling the dynamics of quadratic combs, both in frequency and time domains, providing useful insights into the physics of this new class of optical frequency comb synthesizers. Quadratic combs establish a new class of efficient frequency comb synthesizers, with unique features, which could enable straightforward access to new spectral regions and stimulate novel applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonlinear Photonics Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Second-Harmonic Generation in Suspended AlGaAs Waveguides: A Comparative Study
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020229 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
Due to adjustable modal birefringence, suspended AlGaAs optical waveguides with submicron transverse sections can support phase-matched frequency mixing in the whole material transparency range, even close to the material bandgap, by tuning the width-to-height ratio. Furthermore, their single-pass conversion efficiency is potentially huge, [...] Read more.
Due to adjustable modal birefringence, suspended AlGaAs optical waveguides with submicron transverse sections can support phase-matched frequency mixing in the whole material transparency range, even close to the material bandgap, by tuning the width-to-height ratio. Furthermore, their single-pass conversion efficiency is potentially huge, thanks to the extreme confinement of the interacting modes in the highly nonlinear and high-refractive-index core, with scattering losses lower than in selectively oxidized or quasi-phase-matched AlGaAs waveguides. Here we compare the performances of two types of suspended waveguides made of this material, designed for second-harmonic generation (SHG) in the telecom range: (a) a nanowire suspended in air by lateral tethers and (b) an ultrathin nanorib, made of a strip lying on a suspended membrane of the same material. Both devices have been fabricated from a 123 nm thick AlGaAs epitaxial layer and tested in terms of SHG efficiency, injection and propagation losses. Our results point out that the nanorib waveguide, which benefits from a far better mechanical robustness, performs comparably to the fully suspended nanowire and is well-suited for liquid sensing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonlinear Photonics Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Sensing Margin of Silicon and Poly-Si 1T-DRAM
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020228 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 953
Abstract
Recently, one-transistor dynamic random-access memory (1T-DRAM) cells having a polysilicon body (poly-Si 1T-DRAM) have attracted attention as candidates to replace conventional one-transistor one-capacitor dynamic random-access memory (1T-1C DRAM). Poly-Si 1T-DRAM enables the cost-effective implementation of a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) structure and a three-dimensional (3D) [...] Read more.
Recently, one-transistor dynamic random-access memory (1T-DRAM) cells having a polysilicon body (poly-Si 1T-DRAM) have attracted attention as candidates to replace conventional one-transistor one-capacitor dynamic random-access memory (1T-1C DRAM). Poly-Si 1T-DRAM enables the cost-effective implementation of a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) structure and a three-dimensional (3D) stacked architecture for increasing integration density. However, studies on the transient characteristics of poly-Si 1T-DRAM are still lacking. In this paper, with TCAD simulation, we examine the differences between the memory mechanisms in poly-Si and silicon body 1T-DRAM. A silicon 1T-DRAM cell’s data state is determined by the number of holes stored in a floating body (FB), while a poly-Si 1T-DRAM cell’s state depends on the number of electrons trapped in its grain boundary (GB). This means that a poly-Si 1T-DRAM can perform memory operations by using GB as a storage region in thin body devices with a small FB area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Transistors, Volume II)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
An Engineered Infected Epidermis Model for In Vitro Study of the Skin’s Pro-Inflammatory Response
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020227 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1888
Abstract
Wound infection is a major clinical challenge that can significantly delay the healing process, can create pain, and requires prolonged hospital stays. Pre-clinical research to evaluate new drugs normally involves animals. However, ethical concerns, cost, and the challenges associated with interspecies variation remain [...] Read more.
Wound infection is a major clinical challenge that can significantly delay the healing process, can create pain, and requires prolonged hospital stays. Pre-clinical research to evaluate new drugs normally involves animals. However, ethical concerns, cost, and the challenges associated with interspecies variation remain major obstacles. Tissue engineering enables the development of in vitro human skin models for drug testing. However, existing engineered skin models are representative of healthy human skin and its normal functions. This paper presents a functional infected epidermis model that consists of a multilayer epidermis structure formed at an air-liquid interface on a hydrogel matrix and a three-dimensionally (3D) printed vascular-like network. The function of the engineered epidermis is evaluated by the expression of the terminal differentiation marker, filaggrin, and the barrier function of the epidermis model using the electrical resistance and permeability across the epidermal layer. The results showed that the multilayer structure enhances the electrical resistance by 40% and decreased the drug permeation by 16.9% in the epidermis model compared to the monolayer cell culture on gelatin. We infect the model with Escherichia coli to study the inflammatory response of keratinocytes by measuring the expression level of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 1 beta and tumor necrosis factor alpha). After 24 h of exposure to Escherichia coli, the level of IL-1β and TNF-α in control samples were 125 ± 78 and 920 ± 187 pg/mL respectively, while in infected samples, they were 1429 ± 101 and 2155.5 ± 279 pg/mL respectively. However, in ciprofloxacin-treated samples the levels of IL-1β and TNF-α without significant difference with respect to the control reached to 246 ± 87 and 1141.5 ± 97 pg/mL respectively. The robust fabrication procedure and functionality of this model suggest that the model has great potential for modeling wound infections and drug testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microengineering Techniques for Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Manipulation and Localized Deposition of Particle Groups with Modulated Electric Fields
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020226 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
This paper presents a new micro additive manufacturing process and initial characterization of its capabilities. The process uses modulated electric fields to manipulate and deposit particles from colloidal solution in a contactless way and is named electrophoretically-guided micro additive manufacturing (EPμAM). The inherent [...] Read more.
This paper presents a new micro additive manufacturing process and initial characterization of its capabilities. The process uses modulated electric fields to manipulate and deposit particles from colloidal solution in a contactless way and is named electrophoretically-guided micro additive manufacturing (EPμAM). The inherent flexibility and reconfigurability of the EPμAM process stems from electrode array as an actuator use, which avoids common issues of controlling particle deposition with templates or masks (e.g., fixed template geometry, post-process removal of masks, and unstable particle trapping). The EPμAM hardware testbed is presented alongside with implemented control methodology and developed process characterization workflow. Additionally, a streamlined two-dimensional (2D) finite element model (FEM) of the EPμAM process is used to compute electric field distribution generated by the electrode array and to predict the final deposition location of particles. Simple particle manipulation experiments indicate proof-of-principle capabilities of the process. Experiments where particle concentration and electric current strength were varied demonstrate the stability of the process. Advanced manipulation experiments demonstrate interelectrode deposition and particle group shaping capabilities where high, length-to-width, aspect ratio deposits were obtained. The experimental and FEM results were compared and analyzed; observed process limitations are discussed and followed by a comprehensive list of possible future steps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section D:Materials and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Circular Dichroism in the Second Harmonic Field Evidenced by Asymmetric Au Coated GaAs Nanowires
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020225 - 23 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
Optical circular dichroism (CD) is an important phenomenon in nanophotonics, that addresses top level applications such as circular polarized photon generation in optics, enantiomeric recognition in biophotonics and so on. Chiral nanostructures can lead to high CD, but the fabrication process usually requires [...] Read more.
Optical circular dichroism (CD) is an important phenomenon in nanophotonics, that addresses top level applications such as circular polarized photon generation in optics, enantiomeric recognition in biophotonics and so on. Chiral nanostructures can lead to high CD, but the fabrication process usually requires a large effort, and extrinsic chiral samples can be produced by simpler techniques. Glancing angle deposition of gold on GaAs nanowires can (NWs) induces a symmetry breaking that leads to an optical CD response that mimics chiral behavior. The GaAs NWs have been fabricated by a self-catalyzed, bottom-up approach, leading to large surfaces and high-quality samples at a relatively low cost. Here, we investigate the second harmonic generation circular dichroism (SHG-CD) signal on GaAs nanowires partially covered with Au. SHG is a nonlinear process of even order, and thus extremely sensitive to symmetry breaking. Therefore, the visibility of the signal is very high when the fabricated samples present resonances at first and second harmonic frequencies (i.e., 800 and 400 nm, in our case). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonlinear Photonics Devices)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
3D Printed Reconfigurable Modular Microfluidic System for Generating Gel Microspheres
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020224 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1094
Abstract
Integrated microfluidic systems afford extensive benefits for chemical and biological fields, yet traditional, monolithic methods of microfabrication restrict the design and assembly of truly complex systems. Here, a simple, reconfigurable and high fluid pressure modular microfluidic system is presented. The screw interconnects reversibly [...] Read more.
Integrated microfluidic systems afford extensive benefits for chemical and biological fields, yet traditional, monolithic methods of microfabrication restrict the design and assembly of truly complex systems. Here, a simple, reconfigurable and high fluid pressure modular microfluidic system is presented. The screw interconnects reversibly assemble each individual microfluidic module together. Screw connector provided leak-free fluidic communication, which could withstand fluid resistances up to 500 kPa between two interconnected microfluidic modules. A sample library of standardized components and connectors manufactured using 3D printing was developed. The capability for modular microfluidic system was demonstrated by generating sodium alginate gel microspheres. This 3D printed modular microfluidic system makes it possible to meet the needs of the end-user, and can be applied to bioassays, material synthesis, and other applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Simulation Study of a Gate-All-Around Nanowire Transistor with a Core–Insulator
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020223 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 855
Abstract
Ultra-low power and high-performance logical devices have been the driving force for the continued scaling of complementary metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors which greatly enable electronic devices such as smart phones to be energy-efficient and portable. In the pursuit of smaller and [...] Read more.
Ultra-low power and high-performance logical devices have been the driving force for the continued scaling of complementary metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors which greatly enable electronic devices such as smart phones to be energy-efficient and portable. In the pursuit of smaller and faster devices, researchers and scientists have worked out a number of ways to further lower the leaking current of MOSFETs (Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor). Nanowire structure is now regarded as a promising candidate of future generation of logical devices due to its ultra-low off-state leaking current compares to FinFET. However, the potential of nanowire in terms of off-state current has not been fully discovered. In this article, a novel Core–Insulator Gate-All-Around (CIGAA) nanowire has been proposed, investigated, and simulated comprehensively and systematically based on 3D numerical simulation. Comparisons are carried out between GAA and CIGAA. The new CIGAA structure exhibits low off-state current compares to that of GAA, making it a suitable candidate of future low-power and energy-efficient devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Transistors, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
Gallium Nitride (GaN) High-Electron-Mobility Transistors with Thick Copper Metallization Featuring a Power Density of 8.2 W/mm for Ka-Band Applications
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020222 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Copper-metallized gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) using a Ti/Pt/Ti diffusion barrier layer are fabricated and characterized for Ka-band applications. With a thick copper metallization layer of 6.8 μm adopted, the device exhibited a high output power density of 8.2 W/mm and a [...] Read more.
Copper-metallized gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) using a Ti/Pt/Ti diffusion barrier layer are fabricated and characterized for Ka-band applications. With a thick copper metallization layer of 6.8 μm adopted, the device exhibited a high output power density of 8.2 W/mm and a power-added efficiency (PAE) of 26% at 38 GHz. Such superior performance is mainly attributed to the substantial reduction of the source and drain resistance of the device. In addition to improvement in the Radio Frequency (RF) performance, the successful integration of the thick copper metallization in the device technology further reduces the manufacturing cost, making it extremely promising for future fifth-generation mobile communication system applications at millimeter-wave frequencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wide Bandgap Based Devices: Design, Fabrication and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Top-hat Laser Beam Processing and Scanning Strategies in Laser Micro-Structuring
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020221 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
The uniform energy distribution of top-hat laser beams is a very attractive property that can offer some advantages compared to Gaussian beams. Especially, the desired intensity distribution can be achieved at the laser spot through energy redistribution across the beam spatial profile and, [...] Read more.
The uniform energy distribution of top-hat laser beams is a very attractive property that can offer some advantages compared to Gaussian beams. Especially, the desired intensity distribution can be achieved at the laser spot through energy redistribution across the beam spatial profile and, thus, to minimize and even eliminate some inherent shortcomings in laser micro-processing. This paper reports an empirical study that investigates the effects of top-hat beam processing in micro-structuring and compares the results with those obtainable with a conventional Gaussian beam. In particular, a refractive field mapping beam shaper was used to obtain a top-hat profile and the effects of different scanning strategies, pulse energy settings, and accumulated fluence, i.e., hatch and pulse distances, were investigated. In general, the top-hat laser processing led to improvements in surface and structuring quality. Especially, the taper angle was reduced while the surface roughness and edge definition were also improved compared to structures produced with Gaussian beams. A further decrease of the taper angle was achieved by combining hatching with some outlining beam passes. The scanning strategies with only outlining beam passes led to very high ablation rates but in expense of structuring quality. Improvements in surface roughness were obtained with a wide range of pulse energies and pulse and hatch distances when top-hat laser processing was used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Micromachines)
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Open AccessReview
Lab-on-a-Chip Systems for Aptamer-Based Biosensing
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020220 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Aptamers are oligonucleotides or peptides that are selected from a pool of random sequences that exhibit high affinity toward a specific biomolecular species of interest. Therefore, they are ideal for use as recognition elements and ligands for binding to the target. In recent [...] Read more.
Aptamers are oligonucleotides or peptides that are selected from a pool of random sequences that exhibit high affinity toward a specific biomolecular species of interest. Therefore, they are ideal for use as recognition elements and ligands for binding to the target. In recent years, aptamers have gained a great deal of attention in the field of biosensing as the next-generation target receptors that could potentially replace the functions of antibodies. Consequently, it is increasingly becoming popular to integrate aptamers into a variety of sensing platforms to enhance specificity and selectivity in analyte detection. Simultaneously, as the fields of lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology, point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, and personal medicine become topics of great interest, integration of such aptamer-based sensors with LOC devices are showing promising results as evidenced by the recent growth of literature in this area. The focus of this review article is to highlight the recent progress in aptamer-based biosensor development with emphasis on the integration between aptamers and the various forms of LOC devices including microfluidic chips and paper-based microfluidics. As aptamers are extremely versatile in terms of their utilization in different detection principles, a broad range of techniques are covered including electrochemical, optical, colorimetric, and gravimetric sensing as well as surface acoustics waves and transistor-based detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Printable and Flexible Electronics for Sensors)
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Open AccessReview
Single-Pixel MEMS Imaging Systems
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020219 - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Single-pixel imaging technology is an attractive technology considering the increasing demand of imagers that can operate in wavelengths where traditional cameras have limited efficiency. Meanwhile, the miniaturization of imaging systems is also desired to build affordable and portable devices for field applications. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Single-pixel imaging technology is an attractive technology considering the increasing demand of imagers that can operate in wavelengths where traditional cameras have limited efficiency. Meanwhile, the miniaturization of imaging systems is also desired to build affordable and portable devices for field applications. Therefore, single-pixel imaging systems based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is an effective solution to develop truly miniaturized imagers, owing to their ability to integrate multiple functionalities within a small device. MEMS-based single-pixel imaging systems have mainly been explored in two research directions, namely the encoding-based approach and the scanning-based approach. The scanning method utilizes a variety of MEMS scanners to scan the target scenery and has potential applications in the biological imaging field. The encoding-based system typically employs MEMS modulators and a single-pixel detector to encode the light intensities of the scenery, and the images are constructed by harvesting the power of computational technology. This has the capability to capture non-visible images and 3D images. Thus, this review discusses the two approaches in detail, and their applications are also reviewed to evaluate the efficiency and advantages in various fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical MEMS, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
A Hybrid Numerical Methodology Based on CFD and Porous Medium for Thermal Performance Evaluation of Gas to Gas Micro Heat Exchanger
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020218 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
In micro heat exchangers, due to the presence of distributing and collecting manifolds as well as hundreds of parallel microchannels, a complete conjugate heat transfer analysis requires a large amount of computational power. Therefore in this study, a novel methodology is developed to [...] Read more.
In micro heat exchangers, due to the presence of distributing and collecting manifolds as well as hundreds of parallel microchannels, a complete conjugate heat transfer analysis requires a large amount of computational power. Therefore in this study, a novel methodology is developed to model the microchannels as a porous medium where a compressible gas is used as a working fluid. With the help of such a reduced model, a detailed flow analysis through individual microchannels can be avoided by studying the device as a whole at a considerably less computational cost. A micro heat exchanger with 133 parallel microchannels (average hydraulic diameter of 200 μ m) in both cocurrent and counterflow configurations is investigated in the current study. Hot and cold streams are separated by a stainless-steel partition foil having a thickness of 100 μ m. Microchannels have a rectangular cross section of 200 μ m × 200 μ m with a wall thickness of 100 μ m in between. As a first step, a numerical study for conjugate heat transfer analysis of microchannels only, without distributing and collecting manifolds is performed. Mass flow inside hot and cold fluid domains is increased such that inlet Reynolds number for both domains remains within the laminar regime. Inertial and viscous coefficients extracted from this study are then utilized to model pressure and temperature trends within the porous medium model. To cater for the density dependence of inertial and viscous coefficients due to the compressible nature of gas flow in microchannels, a modified formulation of Darcy–Forschheimer law is adopted. A complete model of a double layer micro heat exchanger with collecting and distributing manifolds where microchannels are modeled as the porous medium is finally developed and used to estimate the overall heat exchanger effectiveness of the investigated micro heat exchanger. A comparison of computational results using proposed hybrid methodology with previously published experimental results of the same micro heat exchanger showed that adopted methodology can predict the heat exchanger effectiveness within the experimental uncertainty for both cocurrent and counterflow configurations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Characterization of an Embossed Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer Cell
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020217 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer (CMUT) is a promising ultrasonic transducer in medical diagnosis and therapeutic applications that demand a high output pressure. The concept of a CMUT with an annular embossed pattern on a membrane working in collapse mode is proposed to further [...] Read more.
Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer (CMUT) is a promising ultrasonic transducer in medical diagnosis and therapeutic applications that demand a high output pressure. The concept of a CMUT with an annular embossed pattern on a membrane working in collapse mode is proposed to further improve the output pressure. To evaluate the performance of an embossed CMUT cell, both the embossed and uniform membrane CMUT cells were fabricated in the same die with a customized six-mask sacrificial release process. An annular nickel pattern with the dimension of 3 μ m × 2 μ m (width × height) was formed on a full top electrode CMUT to realize an embossed CMUT cell. Experimental characterization was carried out with optical, electrical, and acoustic instruments on the embossed and uniform CMUT cells. The embossed CMUT cell achieved 27.1% improvement of output pressure in comparison to the uniform CMUT cell biased at 170 V voltage. The fractional bandwidths of the embossed and uniform CMUT cells were 52.5% and 41.8%, respectively. It substantiated that the embossed pattern should be placed at the vibrating center of the membrane for achieving a higher output pressure. The experimental characterization indicated that the embossed CMUT cell has better operational performance than the uniform CMUT cell in collapse region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Coupled Analysis of a Micro Piezo-Driven Focusing Mechanism
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020216 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
In order to improve the response speed and output force of the camera focusing mechanism, the authors proposed a novelty micro focusing mechanism based on piezoelectric driving, which has the characteristics of rapid response, high precision positioning and large displacement focusing. In this [...] Read more.
In order to improve the response speed and output force of the camera focusing mechanism, the authors proposed a novelty micro focusing mechanism based on piezoelectric driving, which has the characteristics of rapid response, high precision positioning and large displacement focusing. In this paper, the operating principle of the proposed focusing mechanism is presented. Using the piezoelectric output characteristic, the movable tooth drive theory and the screw drive theory, the electromechanical coupling mechanical model and equations of the piezoelectric focusing mechanism are established. Through MATLAB simulation, the output characteristics of the piezoelectric focusing mechanism are calculated. The results indicate that the maximum thrust force of the lens and the maximum output torque of the movable tooth drive for the piezoelectric focusing mechanism are 562.5 N and 1.16 Nm, respectively. Furthermore, the driving voltage directly affects the output performance of the piezoelectric focusing mechanism. These results can be utilized both to optimize the dimensions and improve the overall performance of the piezo-driven focusing mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microfluidic-Based Biosensor for Blood Viscosity and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Using Disposable Fluid Delivery System
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020215 - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 802
Abstract
To quantify the variation of red blood cells (RBCs) or plasma proteins in blood samples effectively, it is necessary to measure blood viscosity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) simultaneously. Conventional microfluidic measurement methods require two syringe pumps to control flow rates of both [...] Read more.
To quantify the variation of red blood cells (RBCs) or plasma proteins in blood samples effectively, it is necessary to measure blood viscosity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) simultaneously. Conventional microfluidic measurement methods require two syringe pumps to control flow rates of both fluids. In this study, instead of two syringe pumps, two air-compressed syringes (ACSs) are newly adopted for delivering blood samples and reference fluid into a T-shaped microfluidic channel. Under fluid delivery with two ACS, the flow rate of each fluid is not specified over time. To obtain velocity fields of reference fluid consistently, RBCs suspended in 40% glycerin solution (hematocrit = 7%) as the reference fluid is newly selected for avoiding RBCs sedimentation in ACS. A calibration curve is obtained by evaluating the relationship between averaged velocity obtained with micro-particle image velocimetry (μPIV) and flow rate of a syringe pump with respect to blood samples and reference fluid. By installing the ACSs horizontally, ESR is obtained by monitoring the image intensity of the blood sample. The averaged velocities of the blood sample and reference fluid (<UB>, <UR>) and the interfacial location in both fluids (αB) are obtained with μPIV and digital image processing, respectively. Blood viscosity is then measured by using a parallel co-flowing method with a correction factor. The ESR is quantified as two indices (tESR, IESR) from image intensity of blood sample (<IB>) over time. As a demonstration, the proposed method is employed to quantify contributions of hematocrit (Hct = 30%, 40%, and 50%), base solution (1× phosphate-buffered saline [PBS], plasma, and dextran solution), and hardened RBCs to blood viscosity and ESR, respectively. Experimental Results of the present method were comparable with those of the previous method. In conclusion, the proposed method has the ability to measure blood viscosity and ESR consistently, under fluid delivery of two ACSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Devices for Blood Analysis, Volume II)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Review of MEMS Based Fourier Transform Spectrometers
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020214 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1493
Abstract
Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS), mostly working in infrared (IR) or near infrared (NIR) range, provide a variety of chemical or material analysis with high sensitivity and accuracy and are widely used in public safety, environmental monitoring and national border security, such as explosive [...] Read more.
Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS), mostly working in infrared (IR) or near infrared (NIR) range, provide a variety of chemical or material analysis with high sensitivity and accuracy and are widely used in public safety, environmental monitoring and national border security, such as explosive detection. However, because of being bulky and expensive, they are usually used in test centers and research laboratories. Miniaturized FTS have been developed rapidly in recent years, due to the increasing demands. Using micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) micromirrors to replace the movable mirror in a conventional FTS system becomes a new realm. This paper first introduces the principles and common applications of conventional FTS, and then reviews various MEMS based FTS devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical MEMS, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
A Microfluidic Mixer of High Throughput Fabricated in Glass Using Femtosecond Laser Micromachining Combined with Glass Bonding
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020213 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 861
Abstract
We demonstrate a microfluidic mixer of high mixing efficiency in fused silica substrate using femtosecond laser-induced wet etching and hydroxide-catalysis bonding method. The micromixer has a three-dimensional geometry, enabling efficient mixing based on Baker’s transformation principle. The cross-sectional area of the fabricated micromixer [...] Read more.
We demonstrate a microfluidic mixer of high mixing efficiency in fused silica substrate using femtosecond laser-induced wet etching and hydroxide-catalysis bonding method. The micromixer has a three-dimensional geometry, enabling efficient mixing based on Baker’s transformation principle. The cross-sectional area of the fabricated micromixer was 0.5 × 0.5 mm2, enabling significantly promotion of the throughput of the micromixer. The performance of the fabricated micromixers was evaluated by mixing up blue and yellow ink solutions with a flow rate as high as 6 mL/min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends and Applications in Femtosecond Laser Micromachining)
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Open AccessArticle
Single-Molecule Mechanics in Ligand Concentration Gradient
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020212 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
Single-molecule experiments provide unique insights into the mechanisms of biomolecular phenomena. However, because varying the concentration of a solute usually requires the exchange of the entire solution around the molecule, ligand-concentration-dependent measurements on the same molecule pose a challenge. In the present work [...] Read more.
Single-molecule experiments provide unique insights into the mechanisms of biomolecular phenomena. However, because varying the concentration of a solute usually requires the exchange of the entire solution around the molecule, ligand-concentration-dependent measurements on the same molecule pose a challenge. In the present work we exploited the fact that a diffusion-dependent concentration gradient arises in a laminar-flow microfluidic device, which may be utilized for controlling the concentration of the ligand that the mechanically manipulated single molecule is exposed to. We tested this experimental approach by exposing a λ-phage dsDNA molecule, held with a double-trap optical tweezers instrument, to diffusionally-controlled concentrations of SYTOX Orange (SxO) and tetrakis(4-N-methyl)pyridyl-porphyrin (TMPYP). We demonstrate that the experimental design allows access to transient-kinetic, equilibrium and ligand-concentration-dependent mechanical experiments on the very same single molecule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Trapping and Manipulation: From Fundamentals to Applications)
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: De Teresa, J.M. et al. Comparison between Focused Electron/Ion Beam-Induced Deposition at Room Temperature and under Cryogenic Conditions. Micromachines 2019, 10, 799
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020211 - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 526
Abstract
In Section 3 [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Automatic Mode-Matching Method for MEMS Disk Resonator Gyroscopes Based on Virtual Coriolis Force
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020210 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
An automatic mode-matching method for MEMS (Micro-electromechanical Systems) disk resonator gyroscopes (DRGs) based on virtual Coriolis force is presented in this paper. For this mode-matching method, the additional tuning electrodes are not required to be designed, which simplifies the structure design. By using [...] Read more.
An automatic mode-matching method for MEMS (Micro-electromechanical Systems) disk resonator gyroscopes (DRGs) based on virtual Coriolis force is presented in this paper. For this mode-matching method, the additional tuning electrodes are not required to be designed, which simplifies the structure design. By using the quadratic relationship between the driving voltage and the electrostatic force, the virtual Coriolis force is obtained by applying an AC voltage whose frequency is half of the driving mode resonant frequency to the sense electrode. The phase difference between the virtual Coriolis force and the sense output signal is used for mode-matching. The structural characteristics and electrode distribution of the DRG are briefly introduced. Moreover, the mode-matching theories of the DRG are studied in detail. The scheme of the mode-matching control system is proposed. Simultaneously, the feasibility and effectiveness of the mode-matching method are verified by system simulation. The experimental results show that under the control of mode-matching at room temperature, the bias instability is reduced from 30.7575 ° /h to 2.8331 ° /h, and the Angle Random Walk (ARW) decreases from 1.0208 ° / h to 0.0524 ° / h . Compared with the mode mismatch condition, the ARW is improved by 19.48 times. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Electronic Component Mounting for Durable E-Textiles: Direct Soldering of Components onto Textile-Based Deeply Permeated Conductive Patterns
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020209 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
For the improvement of the performance and function of electronic textiles (e-textiles), methods for electronic component mounting of textile circuits with electrical and mechanical durability are necessary. This manuscript presents a component mounting method for durable e-textiles, with a simpler implementation and increased [...] Read more.
For the improvement of the performance and function of electronic textiles (e-textiles), methods for electronic component mounting of textile circuits with electrical and mechanical durability are necessary. This manuscript presents a component mounting method for durable e-textiles, with a simpler implementation and increased compatibility with conventional electronics manufacturing processes. In this process, conductive patterns are directly formed on a textile by the printing of conductive ink with deep permeation and, then, components are directly soldered on the patterns. The stiffness of patterns is enhanced by the deep permeation, and the enhancement prevents electrical and mechanical breakages due to the stress concentration between the pattern and solder. This allows components to be directly mounting on textile circuits with electrical and mechanical durability. In this study, a chip resistor was soldered on printed patterns with different permeation depths, and the durability of the samples were evaluated by measuring the variation in resistance based on cyclic tensile tests and shear tests. The experiments confirmed that the durability was improved by the deep permeation, and that the samples with solder and deep permeation exhibited superior durability as compared with the samples based on commercially available elastic conductive adhesives for component mounting. In addition, a radio circuit was fabricated on a textile to demonstrate that various types of components can be mounted based on the proposed methods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Immersion Bioprinting of Tumor Organoids in Multi-Well Plates for Increasing Chemotherapy Screening Throughput
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020208 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
The current drug development pipeline takes approximately fifteen years and $2.6 billion to get a new drug to market. Typically, drugs are tested on two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures and animal models to estimate their efficacy before reaching human trials. However, these models are [...] Read more.
The current drug development pipeline takes approximately fifteen years and $2.6 billion to get a new drug to market. Typically, drugs are tested on two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures and animal models to estimate their efficacy before reaching human trials. However, these models are often not representative of the human body. The 2D culture changes the morphology and physiology of cells, and animal models often have a vastly different anatomy and physiology than humans. The use of bioengineered human cell-based organoids may increase the probability of success during human trials by providing human-specific preclinical data. They could also be deployed for personalized medicine diagnostics to optimize therapies in diseases such as cancer. However, one limitation in employing organoids in drug screening has been the difficulty in creating large numbers of homogeneous organoids in form factors compatible with high-throughput screening (e.g., 96- and 384-well plates). Bioprinting can be used to scale up deposition of such organoids and tissue constructs. Unfortunately, it has been challenging to 3D print hydrogel bioinks into small-sized wells due to well–bioink interactions that can result in bioinks spreading out and wetting the well surface instead of maintaining a spherical form. Here, we demonstrate an immersion printing technique to bioprint tissue organoids in 96-well plates to increase the throughput of 3D drug screening. A hydrogel bioink comprised of hyaluronic acid and collagen is bioprinted into a viscous gelatin bath, which blocks the bioink from interacting with the well walls and provides support to maintain a spherical form. This method was validated using several cancerous cell lines, and then applied to patient-derived glioblastoma (GBM) and sarcoma biospecimens for drug screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section B:Biology and Biomedicine)
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Open AccessArticle
On-chip MIC by Combining Concentration Gradient Generator and Flanged Chamber Arrays
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020207 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of antibiotic is an effective value to ascertain the agent and minimum dosage of inhibiting bacterial growth. However, current techniques to determine MIC are labor intensive and time-consuming, and require skilled operator and high initial concentration of bacteria. To [...] Read more.
Minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of antibiotic is an effective value to ascertain the agent and minimum dosage of inhibiting bacterial growth. However, current techniques to determine MIC are labor intensive and time-consuming, and require skilled operator and high initial concentration of bacteria. To simplify the operation and reduce the time of inhibition test, we developed a microfluidic system, containing a concentration generator and sub-micro-liter chambers, for rapid bacterial growth and inhibition test. To improve the mixing effect, a micropillar array in honeycomb-structure channels is designed, so the steady concentration gradient of amoxicillin can be generated. The flanged chambers are used to culture bacteria under the condition of continuous flow and the medium of chambers is refreshed constantly, which could supply the sufficient nutrient for bacteria growth and take away the metabolite. Based on the microfluidic platform, the bacterial growth with antibiotic inhibition on chip can be quantitatively measured and MIC can be obtained within six hours using low initial concentration of bacteria. Overall, this microfluidic platform has the potential to provide rapidness and effectiveness to screen bacteria and determine MIC of corresponding antibiotics in clinical therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessCommunication
Antireflective Transparent Conductive Oxide Film Based on a Tapered Porous Nanostructure
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020206 - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 589
Abstract
A new architecture for antireflection (AR) has been developed to break the trade-off between the optical transmittance and the electrical conduction impeding the performance of transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films. The tapered porous nanostructure with a complex continuous refractive index effectively eliminates reflections [...] Read more.
A new architecture for antireflection (AR) has been developed to break the trade-off between the optical transmittance and the electrical conduction impeding the performance of transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films. The tapered porous nanostructure with a complex continuous refractive index effectively eliminates reflections from the interfaces between air and the TCO and TCO and the substrate. Compared to the conventional TCO film, the AR TCO film exhibited the same electrical conduction, with an average transmittance of 88.7% in the 400–800 nm range, a 10.3% increase. The new AR TCO film is expected to improve the performance of various optoelectronic devices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Front-Side Microfabricated Thermoresistive Gas Flow Sensor for High-Performance, Low-Cost and High-Yield Volume Production
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020205 - 17 Feb 2020
Viewed by 546
Abstract
In this paper, we present a novel thermoresistive gas flow sensor with a high-yield and low-cost volume production by using front-side microfabricated technology. To best improve the thermal resistance, a micro-air-trench between the heater and the thermistors was opened to minimize the heat [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a novel thermoresistive gas flow sensor with a high-yield and low-cost volume production by using front-side microfabricated technology. To best improve the thermal resistance, a micro-air-trench between the heater and the thermistors was opened to minimize the heat loss from the heater to the silicon substrate. Two types of gas flow sensors were designed with the optimal thermal-insulation configuration and fabricated by a single-wafer-based single-side process in (111) wafers, where the type A sensor has two thermistors while the type B sensor has four. Chip dimensions of both sensors are as small as 0.7 mm × 0.7 mm and the sensors achieve a short response time of 1.5 ms. Furthermore, without using any amplification, the normalized sensitivity of type A and type B sensors is 1.9 mV/(SLM)/mW and 3.9 mV/(SLM)/mW for nitrogen gas flow and the minimum detectable flow rate is estimated at about 0.53 and 0.26 standard cubic centimeter per minute (sccm), respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section A:Physics)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantum Enhancement of a S/D Tunneling Model in a 2D MS-EMC Nanodevice Simulator: NEGF Comparison and Impact of Effective Mass Variation
Micromachines 2020, 11(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11020204 - 16 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 861
Abstract
As complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistors approach the nanometer scale, it has become mandatory to incorporate suitable quantum formalism into electron transport simulators. In this work, we present the quantum enhancement of a 2D Multi-Subband Ensemble Monte Carlo (MS-EMC) simulator, which includes a novel [...] Read more.
As complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistors approach the nanometer scale, it has become mandatory to incorporate suitable quantum formalism into electron transport simulators. In this work, we present the quantum enhancement of a 2D Multi-Subband Ensemble Monte Carlo (MS-EMC) simulator, which includes a novel module for the direct Source-to-Drain tunneling (S/D tunneling), and its verification in the simulation of Double-Gate Silicon-On-Insulator (DGSOI) transistors and FinFETs. Compared to ballistic Non-Equilibrium Green’s Function (NEGF) simulations, our results show accurate I D vs. V G S and subthreshold characteristics for both devices. Besides, we investigate the impact of the effective masses extracted Density Functional Theory (DFT) simulations, showing that they are the key of not only the general thermionic emission behavior of simulated devices, but also the electron probability of experiencing tunneling phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Miniaturized Transistors, Volume II)
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