From printed devices to printed hybrid systems
Digitally fabricated, mechanically flexible sensor systems are promising for applications such as smart labels and wearable electronics. Direct, additive printing of solution-based inks can be used to address much of the functionality required for large-area sensor systems, including complementary logic, power sources, displays, memory devices and a wide variety of sensor types. In certain high performance applications complex computational functionalities such as high-resolution analog-to-digital conversion and wireless communication are needed. While it is difficult to provide these capabilities with electronics printed entirely from solution-based inks, this functionality is readily available in conventional silicon-based electronics. In order to combine the benefits of digitally manufactured, mechanically flexible, distributed sensors and the high performance of silicon electronics we have developed a hybrid fabrication platform that allows for printed electronic devices to be used alongside a minimal set of pre-fabricated microelectronic components. This approach allows for high performance custom sense-and-transmit systems to be developed that incorporate small, low profile integrated circuits that do not unduly impact the mechanical flexibility of the final system. An example system that wirelessly transmits data from multiple printed sensors (light and temperatures) will be described along with the considerations associated with fabrication of such a system (particularly mechanical and electrical interfacing of the printed and microelectronic elements).
Whiting, G. L.; Schwartz, D. E.; Krivacic, B.; Ng, T.; Krusor, B. S.; Tuganov, A. V.; Veres, J. From Printed Devices to Printed Hybrid Systems. Nano Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) Wearable Electronics Workshop.; Albany, NY USA. Date of Talk: 5/23/2014