History of the Giga-to-Nanoelectronics (G2N) Centre

The Giga-to-Nanoelectronics (G2N) Group was founded in May 1997 with the establishment of the DALSA/Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (DALSA/NSERC) Industrial Research Chair in Sensor Technology, held by Professor Arokia Nathan. The objective of its program was to develop a complete Amorphous Silicon technology package for large-area digital imaging. The key technology building blocks and research areas included:

  1. Development of cost-effective process technologies for high-performance sensors and thin-film transistors
  2. Design of novel sensors
  3. Read-out circuitry and system architecture
  4. Development of transient and steady-state numerical and SPICE models
  5. Integration of the various technology kernel, which included assembly and packaging, for high performance optical and X-ray imaging

The group experienced significant growth in terms of personnel, number of projects and laboratory infrastructure in 2000. Professors Siva Sivoththaman and Andrei Sazonov joined the group, bringing with them significant materials and process expertise.

With them on board, the diversity of the group's research projects expanded and several new advanced level courses were launched in large-area electronics, ranging from materials processing to electron devices and integration. One of the major thrusts was in the area of mechanically flexible electronics on plastic substrates for imaging and display applications.

More significantly, the group was awarded $9.5M from federal and provincial sources, matching the contributions from industry and the University of Waterloo, for a major expansion of infrastructure. The expansion included 15,000 sq. ft. of clean room and lab space in a new building with state-of-the-art processing facilities for large-area electronics on glass and plastic.

Construction of the new device fabrication laboratory was completed in 2005 with the G2N Centre located in the Engineering 3 building on the University of Waterloo campus.

The Centre has provided researchers with the ability to do cutting-edge research, resulting in significant new intellectual property in the area of pixel architectures for imaging and displays. In recent years, the group continues to enjoy significant growth in terms of personnel, number of projects, and infrastructure. The diversity of the research projects has expanded, along with offerings of several new advanced level courses in large area electronics, ranging from electronic materials and processing to devices and integration.

Throughout its history G2N has been supported by a number of research sponsors and the commitment of UWaterloo. This support is greatly appreciated and acknowledged by the many researchers who have used the facility.

For more information of the past contributions in the G2N group that led to the founding of the Centre, please reference the research review report 2002-2005 (PDF).


The Giga-to-Nanoelectronics Centre is located in the Engineering 3 building at the University of Waterloo.

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