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News

OSC-8 examines carbon based RFID tags

Cintelliq : 10 September, 2008  (Technical Article)
Meeting the challenging cost targets for widespread uptake of RFID tagging requires new production methods to be examined at OSC-8
The idea of RFID tags that are cheap enough to be as ubiquitous as barcodes has been a long held vision. To achieve this requires RFID tags that cost less than one euro cent each. While current RFID tags based on silicon are capable of meeting the required technical performance, they fail to meet the challenging cost target. Lowering the cost or RFID tags requires a new approach.

Organic semiconductors are carbon-based materials that can be used to make transistors and rectifying diodes; two important components for an operational RFID transponder. Key research institutions and start-ups across the world have, over the past few years, raced to push the performance of materials and device architectures to the point where they have successfully demonstrated organic RF tags and organic RFID tags operating at 13.56 MHz. These demonstrators have been made from individually printed components such as capacitors, diodes and transistors that are then connected together or else use photolithography to pattern the transistors and diodes. None have been truly printed on a single substrate.

On 30 September 2008, at the Organic Semiconductor Conference (OSC-08) in Frankfurt, Professor Cho from Sunchon University, Korea, will present for the first time an all printed 13.56 MHz 1 bit RFID Tag. The realisation of an all printed RFID is seen as an important step towards achieving truly low cost RFID tags that are manufactured by the mile. Using only a gravure printer, a pad printer and an ink-jet printer the researchers were able to fabricate a complete operational 13.56MHz RFID tag including antenna, rectifier, and ring-oscillator.

For the printable rectifier the researchers invented a new Schottky diode based on Ag, ZnO and Al-Si alloy inks. For the printable transistors, used for the ring oscillators, the researchers used single walled carbon-nanotubes (SWCNT), which are also a member of the organic semiconductor family.

In addition to the work by Sunchon University, delegates attending OSC-08 will be able to learn first-hand how leading organisations are making rapid progress in developing materials, device architectures and processing for transistors and diodes. A number of key developments relevant to organic RFID are to be presented including papers by IMEC on perfecting high-frequency rectifiers for organic RFID tags; and the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (AIST) on developing novel approaches for printing RFID tags. On the broader topic of transistors this year OSC will feature papers on novel approaches to producing small geometry (University of Tokyo), low-voltage transistors and complementary circuits (Max Planck Institute) and novel solution-processable materials for transistor circuits (Polyera).

Now in its sixth year, OSC-08 runs from 29 September to 1 October at the Frankfurt Messe, Germany.
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