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Electronics, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2015) , Pages 380-722

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Organic Photodetectors in Analytical Applications
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 688-722; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030688
Received: 23 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3189 | PDF Full-text (1543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review focuses on the utilization of organic photodetectors (OPDs) in optical analytical applications, highlighting examples of chemical and biological sensors and lab-on-a-chip spectrometers. The integration of OPDs with other organic optical sensor components, such as organic light emitting diode (OLED) excitation sources [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the utilization of organic photodetectors (OPDs) in optical analytical applications, highlighting examples of chemical and biological sensors and lab-on-a-chip spectrometers. The integration of OPDs with other organic optical sensor components, such as organic light emitting diode (OLED) excitation sources and thin organic sensing films, presents a step toward achieving compact, eventually disposable all-organic analytical devices. We discuss recent advances in developing and integrating OPDs for various applications as well as challenges faced in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Organic Bioelectronics and Sensors)
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Open AccessReview
Two-Dimensional Materials for Sensing: Graphene and Beyond
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 651-687; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030651
Received: 3 August 2015 / Revised: 8 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 103 | Viewed by 4961 | PDF Full-text (2382 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two-dimensional materials have attracted great scientific attention due to their unusual and fascinating properties for use in electronics, spintronics, photovoltaics, medicine, composites, etc. Graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides such as MoS2, phosphorene, etc., which belong to the family of two-dimensional materials, [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional materials have attracted great scientific attention due to their unusual and fascinating properties for use in electronics, spintronics, photovoltaics, medicine, composites, etc. Graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides such as MoS2, phosphorene, etc., which belong to the family of two-dimensional materials, have shown great promise for gas sensing applications due to their high surface-to-volume ratio, low noise and sensitivity of electronic properties to the changes in the surroundings. Two-dimensional nanostructured semiconducting metal oxide based gas sensors have also been recognized as successful gas detection devices. This review aims to provide the latest advancements in the field of gas sensors based on various two-dimensional materials with the main focus on sensor performance metrics such as sensitivity, specificity, detection limit, response time, and reversibility. Both experimental and theoretical studies on the gas sensing properties of graphene and other two-dimensional materials beyond graphene are also discussed. The article concludes with the current challenges and future prospects for two-dimensional materials in gas sensor applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reference Architecture for Multi-Layer Software Defined Optical Data Center Networks
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 633-650; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030633
Received: 24 July 2015 / Revised: 5 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2302 | PDF Full-text (1206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As cloud computing data centers grow larger and networking devices proliferate; many complex issues arise in the network management architecture. We propose a framework for multi-layer; multi-vendor optical network management using open standards-based software defined networking (SDN). Experimental results are demonstrated in a [...] Read more.
As cloud computing data centers grow larger and networking devices proliferate; many complex issues arise in the network management architecture. We propose a framework for multi-layer; multi-vendor optical network management using open standards-based software defined networking (SDN). Experimental results are demonstrated in a test bed consisting of three data centers interconnected by a 125 km metropolitan area network; running OpenStack with KVM and VMW are components. Use cases include inter-data center connectivity via a packet-optical metropolitan area network; intra-data center connectivity using an optical mesh network; and SDN coordination of networking equipment within and between multiple data centers. We create and demonstrate original software to implement virtual network slicing and affinity policy-as-a-service offerings. Enhancements to synchronous storage backup; cloud exchanges; and Fibre Channel over Ethernet topologies are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Software-Defined Optical Networks)
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Open AccessArticle
Organic Optical Sensor Based on Monolithic Integration of Organic Electronic Devices
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 623-632; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030623
Received: 17 July 2015 / Revised: 5 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2687 | PDF Full-text (849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel organic optical sensor that integrates a front organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and an organic photodiode (OPD) is demonstrated. The stripe-shaped cathode is used in the OLED components to create light signals, while the space between the stripe-shaped cathodes serves as the [...] Read more.
A novel organic optical sensor that integrates a front organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and an organic photodiode (OPD) is demonstrated. The stripe-shaped cathode is used in the OLED components to create light signals, while the space between the stripe-shaped cathodes serves as the detection window for integrated OPD units. A MoO3 (5 nm)/Ag (15 nm) bi-layer inter-electrode is interposed between the vertically stacked OLED and OPD units, serving simultaneously as the cathode for the front OLED and an anode for the upper OPD units in the sensor. In the integrated sensor, the emission of the OLED units is confined by the area of the opaque stripe-shaped cathodes, optimized to maximize the reflected light passing through the window space for detection by the OPD components. This can ensure high OLED emission output, increasing the signal/noise ratio. The design and fabrication flexibility of an integrated OLED/OPD device also has low cost benefits, and is light weight and ultra-thin, making it possible for application in wearable units, finger print identification, image sensors, smart light sources, and compact information systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Organic Bioelectronics and Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Intermodulation Linearity in High-k/Metal Gate 28 nm RF CMOS Transistors
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 614-622; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030614
Received: 3 July 2015 / Revised: 28 August 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2309 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents experimental characterization, simulation, and Volterra series based analysis of intermodulation linearity on a high-k/metal gate 28 nm RF CMOS technology. A figure-of-merit is proposed to account for both VGS and VDS nonlinearity, and extracted from frequency dependence of measured IIP3. [...] Read more.
This paper presents experimental characterization, simulation, and Volterra series based analysis of intermodulation linearity on a high-k/metal gate 28 nm RF CMOS technology. A figure-of-merit is proposed to account for both VGS and VDS nonlinearity, and extracted from frequency dependence of measured IIP3. Implications to biasing current and voltage optimization for linearity are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microwave/ Millimeter-Wave Devices and MMICs)
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Open AccessReview
Conduction Mechanism of Valence Change Resistive Switching Memory: A Survey
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 586-613; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030586
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
Cited by 96 | Viewed by 5771 | PDF Full-text (1926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resistive switching effect in transition metal oxide (TMO) based material is often associated with the valence change mechanism (VCM). Typical modeling of valence change resistive switching memory consists of three closely related phenomena, i.e., conductive filament (CF) geometry evolution, conduction mechanism and [...] Read more.
Resistive switching effect in transition metal oxide (TMO) based material is often associated with the valence change mechanism (VCM). Typical modeling of valence change resistive switching memory consists of three closely related phenomena, i.e., conductive filament (CF) geometry evolution, conduction mechanism and temperature dynamic evolution. It is widely agreed that the electrochemical reduction-oxidation (redox) process and oxygen vacancies migration plays an essential role in the CF forming and rupture process. However, the conduction mechanism of resistive switching memory varies considerably depending on the material used in the dielectric layer and selection of electrodes. Among the popular observations are the Poole-Frenkel emission, Schottky emission, space-charge-limited conduction (SCLC), trap-assisted tunneling (TAT) and hopping conduction. In this article, we will conduct a survey on several published valence change resistive switching memories with a particular interest in the I-V characteristic and the corresponding conduction mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Multi-Level Converters
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 582-585; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030582
Received: 24 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1591 | PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the history of modern power electronics evolution, we are now going through the era of multi-level converters [1]. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Level Converters)
Open AccessArticle
Homogeneous Crystallization of Micro-DispensedTIPS-Pentacene Using a Two-Solvent System toEnable Printed Inverters on Foil Substrates
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 565-581; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030565
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 7 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2009 | PDF Full-text (11407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report on a micro-dispensing system for 6,13-Bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl)pentacene (TIPS-pentacene) to enable homogenous crystallization and uniform filmmorphology of the dispensed droplets using a two-solvent mixture along with the use of aninsulating binder. This solution composition results in a controlled evaporation of the dropletin ambient [...] Read more.
We report on a micro-dispensing system for 6,13-Bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl)pentacene (TIPS-pentacene) to enable homogenous crystallization and uniform filmmorphology of the dispensed droplets using a two-solvent mixture along with the use of aninsulating binder. This solution composition results in a controlled evaporation of the dropletin ambient air such that the Marangoni flow counteracts the outward convective flow toenable uniform radial crystal growth from the edge towards the center of the drops.The consequence of this process is the high degree of uniformity in the crystallization of thedrops, which results in a reduction in the performance spread of the organic field effecttransistors (OFET) created using this process. The addition of the insulating binder furtherimproves the reduction in the spread of the results as a trade-off to the reduction in mobilityof the transistors. The transfer curves of the OFETs show a tight grouping due to thecontrolled self-alignment of the TIPS-pentacene crystals; this repeatability was furtherhighlighted by fabricating p-type inverters with driver to load ratios of 8:1, wherein theoutput inverter curves were also grouped tightly while exhibiting a gain of greater than 4 inthe switching region. Therefore, the reliability and repeatability of this process justifies itsuse to enable large area solution-processed printed circuits at the cost of reduced mobility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond the Interconnections: Split Manufacturing in RF Designs
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 541-564; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030541
Received: 26 June 2015 / Revised: 3 August 2015 / Accepted: 5 August 2015 / Published: 18 August 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2599 | PDF Full-text (1577 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the globalization of the integrated circuit (IC) design flow of chip fabrication, intellectual property (IP) piracy is becoming the main security threat. While most of the protection methods are dedicated for digital circuits, we are trying to protect radio-frequency (RF) designs. For [...] Read more.
With the globalization of the integrated circuit (IC) design flow of chip fabrication, intellectual property (IP) piracy is becoming the main security threat. While most of the protection methods are dedicated for digital circuits, we are trying to protect radio-frequency (RF) designs. For the first time, we applied the split manufacturing method in RF circuit protection. Three different implementation cases are introduced for security and design overhead tradeoffs, i.e., the removal of the top metal layer, the removal of the top two metal layers and the design obfuscation dedicated to RF circuits. We also developed a quantitative security evaluation method to measure the protection level of RF designs under split manufacturing. Finally, a simple Class AB power amplifier and a more sophisticated Class E power amplifier are used for the demonstration through which we prove that: (1) the removal of top metal layer or the top two metal layers can provide high-level protection for RF circuits with a lower request to domestic foundries; (2) the design obfuscation method provides the highest level of circuit protection, though at the cost of design overhead; and (3) split manufacturing may be more suitable for RF designs than for digital circuits, and it can effectively reduce IP piracy in untrusted off-shore foundries. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Connected Vehicles, V2V Communications, and VANET
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 538-540; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030538
Received: 29 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 6 August 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2008 | PDF Full-text (134 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Communications between vehicles are seen as a solution for road transport problems, such as accidents, inefficiencies, traffic congestions, fuel consumption, and exhaust emissions. However, before implementing such a solution, some preliminary analysis is needed. First, the most convenient communications technologies should be selected [...] Read more.
Communications between vehicles are seen as a solution for road transport problems, such as accidents, inefficiencies, traffic congestions, fuel consumption, and exhaust emissions. However, before implementing such a solution, some preliminary analysis is needed. First, the most convenient communications technologies should be selected for each application and specific communications architecture should be deployed to support such services. Standardization is essential for successful deployment.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connected Vehicles, V2V Communications, and VANET)
Open AccessConcept Paper
Redundancy Determination of HVDC MMC Modules
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 526-537; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030526
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 16 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 4 August 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2202 | PDF Full-text (383 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An availability and a reliability prediction has been made for a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) module of VSC (Voltage Source Converter) containing DC/DC converter, gate driver, capacitor and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT). This prediction was made using published failure rates for the electronic [...] Read more.
An availability and a reliability prediction has been made for a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) module of VSC (Voltage Source Converter) containing DC/DC converter, gate driver, capacitor and insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT). This prediction was made using published failure rates for the electronic equipment. The purpose of this prediction is to determinate the additional module redundancy of VSC and the used method is “binomial failure method”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Level Converters)
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Open AccessArticle
A FPGA-Based Broadband EIT System for Complex Bioimpedance Measurements—Design and Performance Estimation
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 507-525; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030507
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 19 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 29 July 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2966 | PDF Full-text (3298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is an imaging method that is able to estimate the electrical conductivity distribution of living tissue. This work presents a field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based multi-frequency EIT system for complex, time-resolved bioimpedance measurements. The system has the capability to [...] Read more.
Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is an imaging method that is able to estimate the electrical conductivity distribution of living tissue. This work presents a field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based multi-frequency EIT system for complex, time-resolved bioimpedance measurements. The system has the capability to work with measurement setups with up to 16 current electrodes and 16 voltage electrodes. The excitation current has a range of about 10 µA to 5 mA, whereas the sinusoidal signal used for excitation can have a frequency of up to 500 kHz. Additionally, the usage of a chirp or rectangular signal excitation is possible. Furthermore, the described system has a sample rate of up to 3480 impedance spectra per second (ISPS). The performance of the EIT system is demonstrated with a resistor-based phantom and tank phantoms. Additionally, first measurements taken from the human thorax during a breathing cycle are presented. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Flexible Electronics: Integration Processes for Organic and Inorganic Semiconductor-Based Thin-Film Transistors
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 480-506; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030480
Received: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4424 | PDF Full-text (3649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flexible and transparent electronics have been studied intensively during the last few decades. The technique establishes the possibility of fabricating innovative products, from flexible displays to radio-frequency identification tags. Typically, large-area polymeric substrates such as polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are used, [...] Read more.
Flexible and transparent electronics have been studied intensively during the last few decades. The technique establishes the possibility of fabricating innovative products, from flexible displays to radio-frequency identification tags. Typically, large-area polymeric substrates such as polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are used, which produces new requirements for the integration processes. A key element for flexible and transparent electronics is the thin-film transistor (TFT), as it is responsible for the driving current in memory cells, digital circuits or organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs). In this paper, we discuss some fundamental concepts of TFT technology. Additionally, we present a comparison between the use of the semiconducting organic small-molecule pentacene and inorganic nanoparticle semiconductors in order to integrate TFTs suitable for flexible electronics. Moreover, a technique for integration with a submicron resolution suitable for glass and foil substrates is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics)
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Open AccessReview
Review on Physically Flexible Nonvolatile Memory for Internet of Everything Electronics
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 424-479; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030424
Received: 6 June 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 7666 | PDF Full-text (4488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Solid-state memory is an essential component of the digital age. With advancements in healthcare technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for ultra-dense, ultra-low-power memory is increasing. In this review, we present a comprehensive perspective on the most notable approaches to [...] Read more.
Solid-state memory is an essential component of the digital age. With advancements in healthcare technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for ultra-dense, ultra-low-power memory is increasing. In this review, we present a comprehensive perspective on the most notable approaches to the fabrication of physically flexible memory devices. With the future goal of replacing traditional mechanical hard disks with solid-state storage devices, a fully flexible electronic system will need two basic devices: transistors and nonvolatile memory. Transistors are used for logic operations and gating memory arrays, while nonvolatile memory (NVM) devices are required for storing information in the main memory and cache storage. Since the highest density of transistors and storage structures is manifested in memories, the focus of this review is flexible NVM. Flexible NVM components are discussed in terms of their functionality, performance metrics, and reliability aspects, all of which are critical components for NVM technology to be part of mainstream consumer electronics, IoT, and advanced healthcare devices. Finally, flexible NVMs are benchmarked and future prospects are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible Electronics)
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Open AccessArticle
Security of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems: Standards, Threats Analysis and Cryptographic Countermeasures
Electronics 2015, 4(3), 380-423; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics4030380
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 22 June 2015 / Accepted: 24 June 2015 / Published: 6 July 2015
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 3810 | PDF Full-text (2184 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the growing number of vehicles on the roads worldwide, road traffic accidents are currently recognized as a major public safety problem. In this context, connected vehicles are considered as the key enabling technology to improve road safety and to foster the [...] Read more.
Due to the growing number of vehicles on the roads worldwide, road traffic accidents are currently recognized as a major public safety problem. In this context, connected vehicles are considered as the key enabling technology to improve road safety and to foster the emergence of next generation cooperative intelligent transport systems (ITS). Through the use of wireless communication technologies, the deployment of ITS will enable vehicles to autonomously communicate with other nearby vehicles and roadside infrastructures and will open the door for a wide range of novel road safety and driver assistive applications. However, connecting wireless-enabled vehicles to external entities can make ITS applications vulnerable to various security threats, thus impacting the safety of drivers. This article reviews the current research challenges and opportunities related to the development of secure and safe ITS applications. It first explores the architecture and main characteristics of ITS systems and surveys the key enabling standards and projects. Then, various ITS security threats are analyzed and classified, along with their corresponding cryptographic countermeasures. Finally, a detailed ITS safety application case study is analyzed and evaluated in light of the European ETSI TC ITS standard. An experimental test-bed is presented, and several elliptic curve digital signature algorithms (ECDSA) are benchmarked for signing and verifying ITS safety messages. To conclude, lessons learned, open research challenges and opportunities are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connected Vehicles, V2V Communications, and VANET)
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