Smart Circuit Building Blocks for SOG and Wearable Electronics

Invention Summary:

Advanced information technology, such as emerging internet of things (IoT) is facing increasing needs for systems-on-demand capable of task and defect adaptation in real-time at lower cost. High-performance electronic systems combing the state-of-the-art processing logics, memories, and sensors on a single chip is highly desired. The challenge in implementing reconfigurable switching matrix network that can be integrated with various functional subsystems, such as advanced displays and wearable electronics requiring high density, high performance, low power consumption, and low cost is substantial. However, the design of such switching matrices is based on different material systems and complicated fabrication process, resulting in extremely low yield, high cost, and is unsuitable for commercial applications such as wearable systems.

Rutgers researchers have demonstrated a novel approach to use multifunctional zinc oxide (ZnO)-based materials and nanostructures to make the reconfigurable electronic devices on glass and flexible substrates.  Fe- and Ni- doped ZnO and its nanostructures are used to make the resistive switching devices (R), Mg-doped ZnO (MZO) is used to design and fabricate the thin film transistor (T) with enhanced thermal and biasing stability, polycrystalline ZnO and MZO are also used to make the diode (D).

The monolithic integration of these devices leads to a new class of reconfigurable circuit building blocks composed of 2T for high sensitivity and high speed sensors, 1T1R for non-volatile memories, and 1D1R for smart crossbar switching matrices. These smart circuit building blocks (SCBB) can be built at low-temperature on glass (SOG) for transparent and low-cost application, as well as on flexible substrates for wearable applications. The invented SCBBs have significant advantages over the molecular switches in the CMOL architecture in terms of performance and stability. For example, the conventional display pixels have low mobility and incapable of supporting frame rates higher than 120 Hz. The novel SCBB-based SOG is expected to have high frame rates and enable adaptive operation, particularly suitable for ultrathin mobile display and wearable electronics powered by batteries 

Market Applications:

The invention has applications focusing on smart system on glass (SOG), wearable electronics and emerging IoT. The examples include high density nonvolatile memory on glass and on flexible substrates, smart switching matrix, smart sensor and actuator array, advanced displays, user-defined digital logic and reconfigurable parallel computing.


  • Reconfigurable, adaptive, and programmable
  • Built on glass or on flexible substrates
  • Monolithic integration & low temperature processing
  • Low power consumption, high-density, ultrafast
  • Transparent by using multifunctional oxides
  • Low cost

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

US Patent (8,884,285) and allowed US patent applications (14/537,480 & 14/399,367). Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Related Publications:

  1. Applied Physics Letters 98: 12351 (2011).
  2. Electron. Dev. Lett., (DOI:10.1109/LED.2015.2459600), 2015
  3. J Phys D: Appl Phys.  7;46(14):145101, 2013.
  4. TMS & IEEE Journal of Electronic Materials, 41 2880, 2012

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University