2018 MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit | Boston, Massachusetts

Tutorial PM03—Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Sunday, November 25, 2018
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Hynes, Level 2, Room 206

Flexible Hybrid Electronics promises to deliver high performance and reliable systems in novel forms and functions. It is achieved by utilizing high performance silicon-based semiconductor devices assembled on flexible (flex) substrates using optimized materials and additive processes. Integration of electronic devices on flexible substrates is starting to enable dramatically new approaches to traditional applications including information displays, lighting, sensors, solar energy conversion and diagnostic medicine. The course will look at the fundamental aspects of three approaches: coating and printing (Mastropietro), chip-on-flex and micron scale thin-film devices on flex (Poliks) and sub-micron scale self-assembled/imprinted device-based coatings on flex (Watkins).

1:30 pm
Coating and Printing
Michael A. Mastropietro

Selecting the right print method for additively manufactured circuits requires a fundamental understanding of performance metrics of printed conductors and functional materials.  The selection of the appropriate printing method is also key.  This section will review the fundamentals of direct write methods: ink-jet, aerosol-jet, extrusion, micro-dispensing; printing methods requiring a master: screen printing, flexo, gravure, gravure offset; and coating methods: slot-die and Meyer rod, as well as the technical challenges of drying and curing functional inks.

3:00 pm BREAK

3:30 pm
Chip-on-Flex and Micron Scale Thin-Film Devices on Flex
Mark D. Poliks

In the second section emerging methods for integration of thin semiconductor devices, sensors and transducers, including creation of thin die, thin die handling, die attach, interconnection and encapsulation on flexible substrates will be presented.  Die function can also be integrated into micron scale thin-film electronic device fabrication directly on flexible non-silicon-wafer surfaces.  Engineered polymer films such as PET, PI, PEN, as well as thin flexible metal foils and glass are all viable substrates for this technology. Key substrate properties include dimensional and thermal stability, low moisture uptake, ultra-low gas and moisture transmission rates and nano-scale surface roughness. This part of the talk will examine how some of the basic semiconductor manufacturing processes can be adapted for use with flexible substrate materials and suggest a means for roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible hybrid electronics. Advancements in manufacturing processes such as roll-to-roll handling, slot-die coating, vacuum deposition, photolithography and wet processing will be described.

4:15 pm
Sub-Micron Scale Self-Assembled/Imprinted Device Based Coatings on Flex
James J. Watkins

The third part of this course will discuss emerging technologies in printed and flexible electronics that can enable next-generation performance. Nano-scale fabrication techniques, including the self-assembly of hybrid (inorganic/organic) materials and imprint patterning using polymers, hybrid polymer/inorganic resists and crystalline nanoparticle ink systems, can resolve challenges associated with large area production of sub-micron device features leading to very high integration densities as well as cost-effective production of functional device components. Applications include printing of 2D and 3D crystalline inorganic structures for light and energy management, printed micron scale transistors and printed microfluidic sensors. In addition, printing of functional structures to modify the performance and behavior of adjacent components.


  • Mark D. Poliks, Binghamton University, The State University of New York
  • James J. Watkins, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Michael A. Mastropietro, ACI Materials

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