Solution-processed electronic materials have the potential to create a new manufacturing paradigm and applications domains beyond those now dominated by silicon technology. These materials can be deposited and patterned with tools commonly used in the graphics design and printing businesses. Over the past 10 years, solution-processed semiconducting materials have been studied largely for incremental application in information displays. However, combining derivatives of these semiconductors with emerging solution-dispersible metal and metal oxide nanoparticles and nanowires enables the fabrication of electronic devices that are fully built from solution. This establishes a new device processing platform which, in turn allows device form factors and integration of functionality in systems not feasible in any conventional semiconductor technology. Examples of novel applications and systems enabled by this include: large-area, ultralight and flexible power harvesting, logic-integrated sensing and memory technologies. In this talk, I will discuss the development integrated sensing systems to illustrate and demonstrate the challenges and advantages of using solution-processed electronic materials for flexible applications. The electronic circuits are based on digitally-printed organic semiconductors and integrated with pressure, acoustic, acceleration and temperature sensors based on piezoelectric polymers such as PVDF or PVDF-TrFE. Piezoelectric polymers were chosen based on their ability to meet low-power, low drift and simple fabrication constraints and in some cases provide the power needed in the system. Polarizable solution-processed dielectrics and polymer semiconductors were integrated in the fabrication of non-volatile analog memory arrays. In this talk I will also discuss the main challenges for flexible printed electronics: materials performance, TFT operation voltage, and printing as a manufacturing technology.
Ng, T.; Russo, B.; Krusor, B. S.; Daniel, J. H.; Arias, A. C. Materials and device integration for printed large area applications. 2011 MRS Spring Meeting; 2011 April 25-29; San Francisco, CA.