Printed SmartCards and Internet-of-Things with Quantum Functional Circuit Elements using Conjugated Polymers, Paul R. Berger

Also see Organic Conducting Polymer Flexible Electronics and Foldable Displays and Photovoltaics


Advisor: Paul R. Berger

Ryan Mattei (ECE Masters)
Evan Cornuelle (Engin. Phys. undergrad researcher to Masters)
Logan Whittaker (ECE undergrad researcher)

Former Graduate Students:
Jeremy J. Guttman (ECE Master's thesis 2016)
Conner B. Chambers (ECE Masters, 2015)
Petri Heljo (Visiting PhD candidate from Tempere University of Technology, Finland)
Woo-Jun Yoon (ECE Master's thesis 2006, Ph.D. 2009)
Ms. Sita Asar (Physics undergrad researcher)

Prof. Donald Lupo (Tempere University of Technology, Finland)

Importance of the Problem:

This project examines quantum functional devices in the conjugated polymer system for molecular electronic devices and circuits. These enhanced circuits are aimed to be more energy thrifty than conevtional transistor-only circuits and facilitate high-speed operation to reach node-to-node iwireless communication.

Brief Description of Our Work and Results:

Conjugated polymers, with pi molecular orbitals delocalized along the polymer chain, are useful organic semiconductors that provide the possibility of molecular electronics for low power organic-based memory and logic. Quantum functional devices based upon carrier tunneling processes open vistas into very efficient and low power consumption circuitry that would be ideal for these applications.

We demonstrate here strong room temperature NDR for poly[2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MEH-PPV) polymer tunnel diodes using a thin TiO2 tunneling layer (~2-8 nm) sandwiched between the MEH-PPV and the indium tin oxide anode.

A key advantage is the pronounced NDR using a thick polymer layer with a large active area, circumnavigating the need for molecularly sized junctions. Current-voltage measurements show large and reproducible NDR with a PVCR as high as 53 at room temperature. We also demonstrate basic logic circuit operation using a pair of these polymer tunnel diodes connected in series to form a monostable-bistable transition logic element latch. Our results indicate that polymer tunnel diodes are potential candidates for many flexible, low-power logic and memory applications for organic devices by using low-cost and simple solution processing.

Awards, Citations and Recognitions

Electronics News: "Organic Polymer Builds Tunnel Diode" (November 22, 2005)

Active and Intelligent Pack News: "Organic polymer diode could lead to cheaper RFID" (December 2005);

Wafer News: "Exploring polymer tunnel diodes to enable logic functions" (January 2006);

Science and Vie (France's Scientific American): "Plastic diodes promise low cost memory" (July 2006).


  1. "Demonstration of Room Temperature Negative Differential Resistance in Polymer Diodes Using a Thin Oxide Tunneling Barrier at the Anode," Paul R. Berger and Woo-Jun Yoon, [Disclosure submitted May 17, 2005; provisional filed November 3, 2005, full patent filed November 3, 2006, Serial. No. & Code 11/592,419].


Large Room Temperature Negative Differential Resistance

  1. "Room Temperature Negative Differential Resistance in Polymer Tunnel Diodes using a Thin Oxide Layer at the Anode and Demonstration of Threshold Logic," Woo-Jun Yoon, Sung-Yong Chung, Paul R. Berger, and Sita M. Asar, Applied Physics Letters, 87, 203506 (November 14, 2005). PDF (173 kB) [, First Organic Tunnel Diode Viable for Circuitry (cited 48 times)

Manufacturable NDR Devices and Processes

  1. "Printed and organic diodes: devices, circuits and applications,: T. M. Kraft, P. R. Berger, and D. Lupo, Journal of Flexible and Printed Electronics., vol. 2, 033001 (2017) (Invited). PDF (3581 kB)

  2. "Negative Differential Resistance in Polymer Tunnel Diodes Using Atomic Layer Deposited, TiO2 Tunneling Barriers at Various Deposition Temperatures, Jeremy J. Guttman, Conner B. Chambers, Al Rey Villagracia, Gil Nonato C. Santos and Paul R. Berger, Organic Electronics Vol. 47, pp. 228-234, (August 2017). PDF (1246 kB) [, First Organic Tunnel Diode Using Atomic Layer Deposition

  3. "Anodic Oxidation of Ultra-Thin Ti Layers on ITO Substrates and their Application in Organic Electronic Memory Elements," Petri Heljo, Karsten Wolff, Kimmo Lahtonen, Mika Valden, Paul R. Berger, Himadri Majumdar, and Donald Lupo, Electrochimica Acta, vol. 137, pp. 91-98 (2014). PDF (1523 kB)

Communication Protocols within a Energy Scavenging IoT Environment with Finite Power Available

  1. "Viability Bounds of M2M Communication using Energy-Harvesting and Passive Wake-up Radio," Jukka Rinne, Jari Keskinen, Paul R. Berger, Donald Lupo, and Mikko Valkama, IEEE Access, Energy Harvesting and Scavenging: Technologies, Algorithms, and Communication Protocols, (June 8, 2017).

  2. "Feasibility and Fundamental Limits of Energy-Harvesting bases M2M Communications," Jukka Rinne, Jari Keskinen, Paul Berger, Donald Lupo, Mikko Valkama, International Journal of Wireless Information Networks,, 2017, pp. 1-9.


IEEE Electron Device Society Distinguished Lecture Seminars

  1. Paul R. Berger, "Fully Printable and Autonomously Powered Electronic Nodes for the Internet of Everything," 6th Fall Colloquium on Flexible and Wearable Electronics, Baltimore Chapter of Electron Devices and Solid-State Circuits [Co-sponsored by the Washington / Northern Virginia Chapter of Engineering in Medicine and Biology] (October 12, 2017).

  2. Paul R. Berger, "Printed Organic Electronics," Universitat Rovira Virgili, Tarragona, Spain, IEEE ED Spain Chapter (May 23, 2016).

  3. Paul R. Berger, "Plastic SmartCards Using Quantum Tunneling Electronics," Colombia University, New York City, NY (October 6, 2014).

  4. Paul R. Berger, "Plastic Low-Cost SmartCards Using Quantum Tunneling Electronics," Politeknik Negeri Batam, Batam, Indonesia (August 19, 2013).

  5. Paul R. Berger, "Plastic Low-Cost SmartCards Using Quantum Tunneling Electronics," Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia (August 16, 2013).

  6. Paul R. Berger, "Negative Differential Resistance Devices for Quantum Functional Circuitry," The O.Ya. Usikov Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (IRE NASU) at Kharkiv, Ukraine (August 26, 2011).

  7. Paul R. Berger, "Negative Differential Resistance Devices for Quantum Functional Circuitry," Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (March 2011).

Invited Talks

  1. "Next generation plastic low cost memory devices," Paul R. Berger, NanoElectronics: Near Term Commercial Applications for Nanotechnology in Electronics, San Jose, California, (November 8-10, 2006). Conference brochure/agenda (PDF)

Conference Presentations

  1. Fabrication and defect properties of ultra-thin TiO2 interfacial layers for hybrid tunnel diodes," J. Guttman, C. Chambers, P. Heinonen, D. Lupo, and P. R. Berger, 2015 Fall MRS Meeting (Boston, MA, November 29 to December 4, 2015). Nominated for Best Poster Award.

  2. "Fabrication and defect properties of ultra-thin TiO2 interfacial layers for hybrid tunnel diodes," P. Heinonen, C. Chambers, P. S. Heljo, P. R. Berger, and D. Lupo, 2014 Fall MRS Meeting (Boston, MA, November 30 to December 5, 2014).

  3. "Resonant Tunneling and Room Temperature Negative Differential Resistance in TiO2/MEH-PPV Junctions for Quantum Functional Circuits," Woo-Jun Yoon, Andrew P. Bonifas, Richard L. McCreery, and Paul R. Berger, OSA's Organic Photonics and Electronics (OPE) Topical Meeting at Rochester, NY, (October 9-11, 2006).

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Last updated October 21, 2017.

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