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Experimental Investigation of Subject-Specific On-Body Radio Propagation Channels for Body-Centric Wireless Communications

Author(s):Mohammad Monirujjaman Khan -- Qammer Hussain Abbasi -- Akram Alomainy -- Clive Parini
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 26-42
In this paper, subject-specific narrowband (2.45 GHz) and ultra-wideband (3–10.6 GHz) on-body radio propagation studies in wireless body area networks (WBANs) were performed by characterizing the path loss for eight different human subjects of different shapes and sizes. The body shapes and sizes of the test subjects used in this study are characterised as thin, medium build, fatty, shorter, average height and taller. Experimental investigation was made in an indoor environment using a pair of printed monopoles (for the narrowband case) and a pair of tapered slot antennas (for the ultra-wideband (UWB) case). Results demonstrated that, due to the different sizes, heights and shapes of the test subjects, the path loss exponent value varies up to maximum of 0.85 for the narrowband on-body case, whereas a maximum variation of the path loss exponent value of 1.15 is noticed for the UWB case. In addition, the subject-specific behaviour of the on-body radio propagation channels was compared between narrowband and UWB systems, and it was deduced that the on-body radio channels are subject-specific for both narrowband and UWB system cases, when the same antennas (same characteristics) are used. The effect of the human body shape and size variations on the eight different on-body radio channels is also studied for both the narrowband and UWB cases.

Integration of Organic Light Emitting Diodes and Organic Photodetectors for Lab-on-a-Chip Bio-Detection Systems

Author(s): Graeme Williams -- Christopher Backhouse -- Hany Aziz
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 43-75
The rapid development of microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip (LoC) technologies have allowed for the efficient separation and manipulation of various biomaterials, including many diagnostically relevant species. Organic electronics have similarly enjoyed a great deal of research, resulting in tiny, highly efficient, wavelength-selective organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic photodetectors (OPDs). We consider the blend of these technologies for rapid detection and diagnosis of biological species. In the ideal system, optically active or fluorescently labelled biological species can be probed via light emission from OLEDs, and their subsequent light emission can be detected with OPDs. The relatively low cost and simple fabrication of the organic electronic devices suggests the possibility of disposable test arrays. Further, with full integration, the finalized system can be miniaturized and made simple to use. In this review, we consider the design constraints of OLEDs and OPDs required to achieve fully organic electronic optical bio-detection systems. Current approaches to integrated LoC optical sensing are first discussed. Fully realized OLED- and OPD-specific photoluminescence detection systems from literature are then examined, with a specific focus on their ultimate limits of detection. The review highlights the enormous potential in OLEDs and OPDs for integrated optical sensing, and notes the key avenues of research for cheap and powerful LoC bio-detection systems.

Morphology, Electrical Performance and Potentiometry of PDIF-CN2 Thin-Film Transistors on HMDS-Treated and Bare Silicon Dioxide

Author(s):Fabio Chiarella -- Mario Barra -- Laura Ricciotti -- Alberto Aloisio -- Antonio Cassinese
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 76-86
 In this work, the electrical response of n-type organic field-effect transistors, achieved by evaporating PDIF-CN2 films on both bare and Hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) treated SiO2 substrates, was investigated by standard electrical characterization and potentiometry. Morphological and charge transport characterizations demonstrated that the hydrophobic degree of the substrate surface has a huge impact on the final response of the devices. The PDIF-CN2 transistors on HMDS-treated substrates show a maximum mobility of 0.7 cm2/Volt·s, three orders of magnitude greater than in the case of the device without surface functionalization. The scanning Kelvin probe microscopy technique was used to perform surface potentiometry to image the local surface potential inside the channel during the transistor operation and has allowed us to identify the film morphological disorder as the primary factor that could compromise the effectiveness of the charge injection process from gold contacts to PDIF-CN2 films. For optimized devices on HMDS-treated substrates, SKPM was also used to analyze, over time, the evolution of the potential profile when negative VGS voltages were applied. The findings of these measurements are discussed taking into account the role ofVGS-induced proton migration towards SiO2 bulk, in the operational stability of the device.

Laboratory Validation of Inertial Body Sensors to Detect Cigarette Smoking Arm Movements

Author(s):Bethany R. Raiff -- Cagdas Karatas -- Erin A. McClure -- Dario Pompili -- Theodore A. Walls
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 87-110
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Traditional in-clinic cessation interventions may fail to intervene and interrupt the rapid progression to relapse that typically occurs following a quit attempt. The ability to detect actual smoking behavior in real-time is a measurement challenge for health behavior research and intervention. The successful detection of real-time smoking through mobile health (mHealth) methodology has substantial implications for developing highly efficacious treatment interventions. The current study was aimed at further developing and testing the ability of inertial sensors to detect cigarette smoking arm movements among smokers. The current study involved four smokers who smoked six cigarettes each in a laboratory-based assessment. Participants were outfitted with four inertial body movement sensors on the arms, which were used to detect smoking events at two levels: the puff level and the cigarette level. Two different algorithms (Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Edge-Detection based learning) were trained to detect the features of arm movement sequences transmitted by the sensors that corresponded with each level. The results showed that performance of the SVM algorithm at the cigarette level exceeded detection at the individual puff level, with low rates of false positive puff detection. The current study is the second in a line of programmatic research demonstrating the proof-of-concept for sensor-based tracking of smoking, based on movements of the arm and wrist. This study demonstrates efficacy in a real-world clinical inpatient setting and is the first to provide a detection rate against direct observation, enabling calculation of true and false positive rates. The study results indicate that the approach performs very well with some participants, whereas some challenges remain with participants who generate more frequent non-smoking movements near the face. Future work may allow for tracking smoking in real-world environments, which would facilitate developing more effective, just-in-time smoking cessation interventions.

Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Electronics in 2013

Author(s):ELectronics Editorial Office
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 111-111
The editors of Electronics would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...]  

Effects of Germanium Tetrabromide Addition to Zinc Tetraphenyl Porphyrin / Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells

Author(s):Atsushi Suzuki -- Kenta Nishimura -- Takeo Oku
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 112-121
 The effects of germanium tetrabromide addition to tetraphenyl porphyrin zinc (Zn-TPP)/fullerene (C60) bulk heterojunction solar cells were characterized. The light-induced charge separation and charge transfer were investigated by current density and optical absorption. Addition of germanium tetrabromide inserted into active layer of Zn-TPP/C60 as bulk heterojunction had a positive effect on the photovoltaic and optical properties. The photovoltaic mechanism of the solar cells was discussed by experimental results. The photovoltaic performance was due to light-induced exciton promoted by insert of GeBr4 and charge transfer from HOMO of Zn-TPP to LUMO of C60 in the active layer.

Improvement in the Lifetime of Planar Organic Photovoltaic Cells through the Introduction of MoO3 into Their Cathode Buffer Layers

Author(s):Linda Cattin -- Mustapha Morsli -- Jean Christian Bernède
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 122-131
Recently, MoO3, which is typically used as an anode buffer layer in organic photovoltaic cells (OPVCs), has also been used as a cathode buffer layer (CBL). Here, we check its efficiency as a CBL using a planar heterojunction based on the CuPc/C60 couple. The CBL is a bi-layer tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq3)/MoO3. We show that the OPVC with MoO3 in its CBL almost immediately exhibits lower efficiency than those using Alq3 alone. Nevertheless, the OPVCs increase their efficiency during the first five to six days of air exposure. We explain this evolution of the efficiency of the OPVCs over time through the variation in the MoO3 work function due to air contamination. By comparison to a classical OPVC using a CBL containing only Alq3, if it is found that the initial efficiency of the latter is higher, this result is no longer the same after one week of exposure to ambient air. Indeed, this result is due to the fact that the lifetime of the cells is significantly increased by the presence of MoO3 in the CBL.

Electron and Hole Transport Layers: Their Use in Inverted Bulk Heterojunction Polymer Solar Cells

Author(s):Sandro Lattante
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 132-164
Bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells (BHJ PSCs) are very promising organic-based devices for low-cost solar energy conversion, compatible with roll-to-roll or general printing methods for mass production. Nevertheless, to date, many issues should still be addressed, one of these being the poor stability in ambient conditions. One elegant way to overcome such an issue is the so-called “inverted” BHJ PSC, a device geometry in which the charge collection is reverted in comparison with the standard geometry device, i.e., the electrons are collected by the bottom electrode and the holes by the top electrode (in contact with air). This reverted geometry allows one to use a high work function top metal electrode, like silver or gold (thus avoiding its fast oxidation and degradation), and eliminates the need of a polymeric hole transport layer, typically of an acidic nature, on top of the transparent metal oxide bottom electrode. Moreover, this geometry is fully compatible with standard roll-to-roll manufacturing in air and is less demanding for a good post-production encapsulation process. To date, the external power conversion efficiencies of the inverted devices are generally comparable to their standard analogues, once both the electron transport layer and the hole transport layer are fully optimized for the particular device. Here, the most recent results on this particular optimization process will be reviewed, and a general outlook regarding the inverted BHJ PSC will be depicted.

The Effects of Different Electron-Phonon Couplings on the Spectral and Transport Properties of Small Molecule Single-Crystal Organic Semiconductors

Author(s):Carmine Antonio Perroni -- Fernando Gargiulo -- Alberto Nocera -- Vincenzo Marigliano Ramaglia -- Vittorio Cataudella
Journal: Electronics
Publisher:
Abstract
| Pages: 165-189
Spectral and transport properties of small molecule single-crystal organic semiconductors have been theoretically analyzed focusing on oligoacenes, in particular on the series from naphthalene to rubrene and pentacene, aiming to show that the inclusion of different electron-phonon couplings is of paramount importance to interpret accurately the properties of prototype organic semiconductors. While in the case of rubrene, the coupling between charge carriers and low frequency inter-molecular modes is sufficient for a satisfactory description of spectral and transport properties, the inclusion of electron coupling to both low-frequency inter-molecular and high-frequency intra-molecular vibrational modes is needed to account for the temperature dependence of transport properties in smaller oligoacenes. For rubrene, a very accurate analysis in the relevant experimental configuration has allowed for the clarification of the origin of the temperature-dependent mobility observed in these organic semiconductors. With increasing temperature, the chemical potential moves into the tail of the density of states corresponding to localized states, but this is not enough to drive the system into an insulating state. The mobility along different crystallographic directions has been calculated, including vertex corrections that give rise to a transport lifetime one order of magnitude smaller than the spectral lifetime of the states involved in the transport mechanism. The mobility always exhibits a power-law behavior as a function of temperature, in agreement with experiments in rubrene. In systems gated with polarizable dielectrics, the electron coupling to interface vibrational modes of the gate has to be included in addition to the intrinsic electron-phonon interaction. While the intrinsic bulk electron-phonon interaction affects the behavior of mobility in the coherent regime below room temperature, the coupling with interface modes is dominant for the activated high temperature contribution of localized polarons. Finally, the effects of a weak disorder largely increase the activation energies of mobility and induce the small polaron formation at lower values of electron-phonon couplings in the experimentally relevant temperature window.
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