Enhanced P-type metal oxides for Integrated Circuits (EPIC)


The proliferation of smart objects required to truly harness the full capability of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is enabled by the form-factor and cost-structure of flexible oxide electronics. In this sector, state-of-the-art is based on established unipolar n-type transistors (NMOS). It addresses many emergent application spaces e.g. short-range (cm) proximity radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, but its high static power consumption precludes very low power applications and complex circuit designs.

A complementary (CMOS) logic capability greatly expands the accessible market for low cost flexible electronics, where static power consumption is negligible. CMOS would augment current product functionality and generate brand new applications through increased read-ranges, introduction of additional security circuitry and sensing capabilities, supporting a wide-range of low power complex designs. Examples of applications that can be addressed include waste management (e.g. low-cost identification to improve recycling productivity) and anti-counterfeit labels which protect against low-grade or harmful ingredients. New applications will also emerge as part of the IoT and increased connectivity. These include healthcare monitors, connecting wearables with disposable/low-cost sensors and distributed sensor networks (e.g. building control/monitoring; security/detection of poisons, pollutants, etc.). IoT will play key roles in smarter cities, increased industrial productivity, resilient transport and more sustainable energy consumption. The social benefits of the technology will include improved quality of life, healthy living and increased employment.

Introduction of CMOS flexible electronics necessitates p-type transistors (PMOS) alongside the existing NMOS technology. This can only be achieved through innovation and development of p-type thin film transistor (TFT) materials and associated manufacturing processes, which are comparatively immature.

EPIC is a collaborative research and development project between the University of Liverpool, Pegasus Chemicals, and PragmatIC to develop p-type metal oxides with optimised properties suitable for future integration into a CMOS Flexible Integrated Circuit (FlexIC) architecture. Scale up and manufacturability of the optimised p-type material will be demonstrated on a 200mm FlexIC pilot line.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Pragmatic Semiconductor Limited, SEDGEFIELD STOCKTON-ON-TEES £191,635 £ 134,144


University of Liverpool, United Kingdom £149,488 £ 149,488
Pegasus Chemicals Limited £158,087 £ 110,661


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