Flexible and reconfigurable radio frequency electronics realized by high-throughput screen printing of vanadium dioxide switches

Weiwei Li, Mohammad Vaseem, Shuai Yang, Atif Shamim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract Smart materials that can change their properties based on an applied stimulus are in high demand due to their suitability for reconfigurable electronics, such as tunable filters or antennas. In particular, materials that undergo a metal–insulator transition (MIT), for example, vanadium dioxide (VO2) (M), are highly attractive due to their tunable electrical and optical properties at a low transition temperature of 68 °C. Although deposition of this material on a limited scale has been demonstrated through vacuum-based fabrication methods, its scalable application for large-area and high-volume processes is still challenging. Screen printing can be a viable option because of its high-throughput fabrication process on flexible substrates. In this work, we synthesize high-purity VO2 (M) microparticles and develop a screen-printable VO2 ink, enabling the large-area and high-resolution printing of VO2 switches on various substrates. The electrical properties of screen-printed VO2 switches at the microscale are thoroughly investigated under both thermal and electrical stimuli, and the switches exhibit a low ON resistance of 1.8 ohms and an ON/OFF ratio of more than 300. The electrical performance of the printed switches does not degrade even after multiple bending cycles and for bending radii as small as 1 mm. As a proof of concept, a fully printed and mechanically flexible band-pass filter is demonstrated that utilizes these printed switches as reconfigurable elements. Based on the ON and OFF conditions of the VO2 switches, the filter can reconfigure its operating frequency from 3.95 to 3.77 GHz without any degradation in performance during bending.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrosystems & Nanoengineering
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2020

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