Dipartimento d'Ingegneria

Sketch of the simulated structure: detail of the Elictrical Field distribution. Sketch of the simulated structure: detail of the Elictrical Field distribution.

Silicon-on-Diamond Structures for Electronics Interface to Biological Neuronal Networks

Written by  Wednesday, 12 June 2013 12:11
In this project, we propose the application of numerical modelling, i.e. device-level simulation tools, to simulate the electrical characteristics of Silicon-on-Diamond (SoD) devices originally conceived for charged particle sensors but suitably applicable to bio-sensors.
Actually, the biocompatibility and electrochemical properties of diamond foster its adoption for bio-sensing applications. In particular, its high bio inertness, high electrochemical stability, and optical transparency make diamond a material of great interest for neuronal activity study.
Within this framework, a new concept of Silicon-on-Diamond material allows to couple a silicon integrated electronic device and a diamond substrate, suitable for hosting biological neural networks. The SoD structure is fabricated by putting in contact the silicon and the artificial diamond surfaces in a clean-room environment where they are pressed together and then welded by using a fast pulsed laser beam.
In this way it is possible to create an integrated device which communicates with the electronic circuits using the diamond as a read / stimulation biocompatible interface to the biological medium. In order to evaluate and to optimize the electrical properties of the connections within the SoD (SoD interfaces, graphitic columns through the diamond), Technology CAD (TCAD) tools customarily adopted in microelectronics design (e.g. device level numerical simulations), have been adapted to the study of the SoD structure.
The main goals of this work are therefore:

  • the development and validation of models and methodologies for device/circuit simulation of SoD structure in TCAD environment;
  • the assessment of the effects of the properties of SoD on electrical parameters (potential distribution / electric field) and optimization of the geometry of the interconnections through the structure silicon / diamond.
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