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Faculty Openings

Faculty Openings...

Faculty Openings The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering... more

Record Crowd at Engineering Day 2014

Record Crowd at Engineering Day 2014...

On Saturday, Oct. 11, about 500 high school... more

COMS 2014 Coming to Salt Lake City

COMS 2014 Coming to Salt Lake City...

  For the first time, the annual international COMS... more

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Oct
23
Thu
Pradeep Pai Defense
Oct 23 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

DISSERTATION DEFENSE FOR THE DEGREE OF

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

 by

 Pradeep Pai

Advisor: Massood Tabib-Azar

Microplasma Transistor for Harsh Environment Applications

Microplasmas are currently used in displays, two-terminal breakdown switches, light sources and medical instruments. They can also be used in miniaturized particle accelerators, micro X-ray generators, UV and extreme UV sources, gas sensors and in micro-propulsion thrusters. They are also excellent candidates for applications in harsh environments that usually lead to the breakdown of silicon electronics. Here we develop their unique applications in X-band microwave analog and digital devices and circuits. To enable these applications, we identified a breakdown region, called sub-Paschen regime, that enables generation of atmospheric plasmas at low voltages. The sub-Paschen regime involves devices with breakdown gap below 10 mm in 1 atmosphere in air. This newly discovered operation regime enabled us to design plasma devices with relatively low operation voltages of 50-100 V.

We developed micro-plasma devices similar to MOSFETs with drain, source, gate regions that used plasma channels for switching or amplification. The gate field effect was successfully tested under both dc and ac excitations. Drain current modulation frequency up to 7 GHz was obtained. Additionally, we implemented logic gates with microplasma devices to realize simple Boolean logic operations including OR, AND, NOT and XOR. The gates were then combined to obtain a 1-bit half-adder circuit. The MOPFET developed in this work achieved 3x reduction in the breakdown (device turn-on) voltage by operating in the sub-Paschen regime. In addition to the scaling in breakdown voltage, the MOPFETs are at least 50x smaller compared to plasma transistors reported in the past. The smallest MOPFET used in this work had a source-drain gap of 1 µm and showed unprecedented functionalities derived from plasmas at a micro scale.

The public is invited

Oct
24
Fri
Last day to withdraw from classes
Oct 24 all-day
Last day to withdraw from classes
Oct
29
Wed
Second Session Classes: Last day to drop (delete) classes
Oct 29 all-day
Second Session Classes: Last day to drop (delete) classes

spotlight

Chair Welcome

This past year our faculty have received funding, contracts, and awards from such resources as the CIA, NSF, AFOSR, and DARPA.
Read the Chair’s Message