Organic complementary logic aim of 2 European research projects

May 4, 2012 — The Heterogeneous Technology Alliance (HTA), a team of European technology institutes, is focusing on high-performance organic electronic circuits through 2 projects: COSMIC to develop p- and n-type organic thin film transistors (OTFTs) for complementary logic, and POLARIC for shrinking critical dimensions (CD) of OTFTs.

OTFTs face limited device performance and volume production methods. Recent progress has enabled air-stable, printable, n-type semiconductor materials, making it possible to combine p- and n-type thin film transistors into complementary logic. This could enable breakthrough application of printed electronic circuits that perform comparably to silicon-based complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS).

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The COSMIC (Complementary Organic Semiconductor and Metal Integrated Circuits) project will develop p- and n-type OTFTs and integrate them into complementary logic, aiming for processing tolerances in organic integrated circuits (ICs): better noise margins, higher complexity, improved yield, and lower supply voltage demand. The researchers will demonstrate an analog-to-digital converter coupled to a temperature sensor, introducing OTFTs in the sensors and actuator market. They will also build a silent authentication tag, comprising an organic RF receiver, with potential for item-level, secure tracking of goods using realistic protocols.

Schematic from COSMIC.

Also read: High interest in low-end printable electronics by Katherine Derbyshire

The POLARIC (Printable, Organic and Large-Area Realisation of Integrated Circuits) project is mainly focused on increasing organic electronics’ performance by shrinking the CD of the OTFTs. Small critical dimensions make organic ICs compatible with high-throughput transistor fabrication methods, like roll-to-roll (R2R) nanoimprint lithography. This high-resolution patterning technique produces transistor channel lengths below 1µm, increasing organic electronics’ performance. Researchers plan to demonstrate an active-matrix liquid display and RFID tag.

VTT’s vision for a flexible display backplane, POLARIC project.

The organic electronic building blocks and manufacturing platforms gained from COSMIC and POLARIC will be propagated to all areas of printed electronics — sensors, memories, batteries, photovoltaics, lighting, etc.

The HTA is a novel approach to creating and developing micro technologies, nano electronics, and smart systems. It combines the capabilities and facilities of CEA-Leti and CEA-Liten, CSEM, Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics, and VTT, structured to facilitate technology transfer to European and international companies. Visit for more information.

Participants in the COSMIC project: Fraunhofer EMFT (coordinator, Germany), Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (France), IMEC (Belgium), STMicroelectronics SRL (Italy), TNO (Netherlands), Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (Netherlands), Technische Universitat Berlin (Germany), Friendly Technologies LTD (UK), Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (Italy), Universita di Catania (Italy), and Flexink (UK), Polymervision B.V. Learn more at

Participants in the POLARIC project: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (coordinator, Finland), 3D-Micromac (Germany), AMO (Germany), BASF (Switzerland), CSEM (Switzerland), Cardiff University (UK), Fraunhofer EMFT (Germany), IMEC (Belgium), Imperial College London (UK), Joanneum Research (Austria), micro resist technology (Germany), Obducat Technologies (Sweden), and Asulab, a division of The Swatch Group Research and Development Ltd. (Switzerland). Learn more at


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