Flexible printed electronics: from materials characterization to device integration


Ng, T. Flexible printed electronics: from materials characterization to device integration. IGERT guest lecture at UC Santa Barbara; 2011 October.


Solution-processed electronic materials have been developed to enable manufacturing platforms complementary to conventional silicon technology. These electronic inks can be deposited and patterned by common printing tools such as inkjet and gravure press, and the printing process is compatible with many substrates ranging from plastics to fibers, to potentially integrate electronics on any surface. At Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), we have developed processes for printed electronics to enable new form factors and applications in flexible displays and sensors. Some examples include flexible medical imagers and mechanical shock detectors to monitor traumatic brain injury. These applications require development of both individual device components as well as system integration. In this talk, I will present the advantages and limitations of printed devices, and then discuss how to integrate the individual components by using complementary organic semiconductor circuits. I will show how we tackle the challenges of device variations and stability in the integrated systems. In addition to complementary circuits, we have also developed memory technologies, including ferroelectric and resistive memories as integral control switches. Both device structures and system-level view of printing are considered, in order to improve the reliability of the processes to enable low-cost manufacturing.

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