Projects Encourage Flexible Electronics Innovation

By Mat Dirjish

SEMI-FlexTech is launching six projects that it hopes will accelerate sensor and sensor system innovations in the healthcare, automotive, industrial, and defense industries. Collaborating with the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), FlexTech is providing more than $2.3 million in funding for the projects targeting the flexible-hybrid electronics (FHE) technology ecosystem.

Organizations including the University of Texas El Paso, American Semiconductor, PARC, Tekscan, Alertgy and SAFI-Tech will lead the initiatives. The projects are as follows.

  1. American Semiconductor will develop 500 FHE ultra-thin, lightweight, and configurable sensor systems with wireless capability for environmental sensing applications. American Semiconductor will partner with Boise State University, DuPont, HD Microsystems, and ITN Energy Systems on the 15-month project.
  2. University of Texas at El Paso is set to optimize structural and electrical performance and develop sculpted dielectrics for FHE 3D printing. The 12-month project will generate performance data and new algorithms for smarter 3D printing. A proof-of-concept, journal article and presentation will cap the project.
  3. Tekscan will develop a functioning sensorized glove made of a durable resin with flexible-conductive and pressure-sensitive inks. The glove advances the state of the art for FHE pressure and force measurements and analysis. The 18-month project includes examinations of novel substrates and materials, hardware integration strategies, and manufacturing methods.
  4. PARC, A Xerox Company, will integrate a flexible and adaptable multi-sensor system consisting of temperature, humidity, impact and gas sensors with a single processor for data capture and both wireless and audio output capabilities. The system will target applications in the wearables, medical monitoring, Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, and industrial markets. PARC will partner with Purdue University in this 12-month project.
  5. Alertgy is on board to develop a curved, flexible, and light weight wrist-mount FHE for non-invasive glucose monitoring. The wristband will integrate electrical impedance spectroscopy, a transducer, and a printed battery. The device interface will enable the integration of other sensors into its multipurpose design. A demonstration of the platform will cap the 16-month project.
  6. SAFI-Tech will develop and demonstrate screen-printed, super-cooled liquid metal particles for use in electrical interconnects at low temperatures as a replacement for electrically conductive adhesives. Lower temperatures in electronics manufacturing can reduce heat generation, processing costs, and thermal damage while enabling higher throughput for devices in defense, automotive, healthcare, and other industries. SAFI-Tech will partner with Iowa State University on the18-month project.

For more details, visit SEMI-FlexTech.

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