At the 14th IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA conference and exhibition held in Santa Clara on November 15-16, four organizations were honored for their great achievements in developing and commercializing printed electronics technologies.
The judges of the awards were Dr Kenneth McGuire, Principal Scientist of Proctor and Gamble and Dr Jeroen Van den Brand, Program Director, Holst Centre TNO.
The awards were presented by Mr. Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx and Ms Heidi Dohse, Senior Program Manager of Google. They were hosted at Printed Electronics USA 2017, the world's leading event on the topic, in Santa Clara on November 15.
A summary of the awards and winners are as follows:
Best Academic Development:
Technical Development Materials Award:
Technical Development Manufacturing Award:
Best Product Award:
Best Academic Development in Printed and Flexible Electronics - AXEL / Seoul National University
AXEL / Seoul University won this award for their work on developing fundamental and essential technologies to mass manufacture stretchable highly integrated circuits based on printing processes and hybridization of conventional electronics. To produce a mechanically robust, high-performance stretchable system, the following sub-technologies were developed:
- Double-sided chip mounting and stretchable interconnection integration
- Printed stretchable silver interconnects with vertically wrinkled structure
- Printed rigid island strain-relief structures for strain control of chip periphery
- Stable chip bonding and soldering techniques
- Electrical with magnetically induced core-shell structure, which enables stable electrical performance even under large mechanical deformation
All techniques are developed in order to integrate circuits and systems directly on both sides of a stretchable elastomer based on various printing processes, enabling large-area, low cost fabrication, without the need for vacuum processes and masks.
Through the above technology, the organization is establishing a process platform for the production of stretchable electronic circuits and to expedite the early adoption of wearable patch type devices in various wearable applications and markets.
One of the judges reported, "The technologies presented are a very impressive innovation step forward in the base technologies for stretchable electronics devices. Also the fact that they are thinking and working already on upscaling is very much appreciated."
Technical Development Materials Award - CLEARink
Spun out of University of British Columbia in Vancouver, CLEARink's unique Total Internal Reflection (TIR) technology, together with a single particle electrophoretic ink made by Merck, has been publicly demonstrated for the first time this year. The reflective color e-paper like displays were made with commercially available color filters, were running 33 frames/second video with 83% white state reflectance and 38% color reflectance and has gotten rave reviews.
The transfer from lab to fab has just occurred and trial production has commenced at a LCD factory. Customers that evaluated the samples have pre-paid $3M for eSchoolbook and IoT applications to get access to first production run.
One of the judges reported, "[This] is a breakthrough that will enable a whole host of previously imagined products to become real. In a school, particularly those in developing countries, the ability to combine text and video in a low power, low cost display will be revolutionary. This building block may radically change both form factor and availability of interactive devices."
Technical Development Manufacturing Award - Eastman Kodak
Eastman Kodak has developed an additive, roll-to-roll manufacturing process to produce transparent planar antennas on flexible substrates. The copper micro-wire technology delivers very high conductivity in combination with high transparency, neutral color, and low reflectance. Inline processes also passivate the copper metal for corrosion prevention and add non-conducting features to further enhance the ability to hide antennas on surfaces where high optical performance is required.
The fabrication of optically transparent antennas greatly expands placement options to windows, displays, lighting and other glass surfaces. Eastman Kodak's optically transparent antennas are lightweight and conformable thus significantly increasing the number of new design options enabling connectivity with true covert placement capability.
One of the judges reported, "The proliferation of antennae in IoT will become problematic for many products that wish to maintain a clean, uncluttered appearance, driving demand for transparent antennas."
Best Product Award - Voltera
The winning product was given to Voltera for their Voltera V-One, a desktop PCB printer. By additively printing conductive ink, the V-One puts the power of a fab house on your desk. Go from a concept on your computer to a functional board in your hands in minutes. The printer has built-in solder paste dispensing and reflow functionality so no hand soldering or stencils needed.
"A really impressive and comprehensive tool for the rapidly expanding field of 3D Printed Electronics, at a very attractive price point," said one of the judges.
The next IDTechEx Printed Electronics award ceremony will be held Berlin in Germany, on 11 & 12 April 2018. For more details visit www.PrintedElectronicsEurope.com .
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