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Printed Electronics World
Posted on November 20, 2015 by  & 

IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA 2015 Award Winners

At the Printed Electronics USA 2015 conference and exhibition, five companies were awarded for their great achievement in developing and commercializing printed electronics technologies. The awards were presented to the five winning companies by Ralph Russo, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Novasentis, who has also had a prolific and highly successful career as an executive at Apple, Honeywell, Bay Networks, and Nortel Networks. The entries were judged by the following panel:
A summary of the awards and winners are as follows:
Best Technical Development Manufacturing Award - Vitriflex
Best Technical Development Materials Award - Parker Hannifin Corporation
Academic R&D Award - University of Massachusetts Lowell Raytheon
Best Product Development Award - ARMOR SAS
Best Commercialization Award - Engineered Materials Systems, Inc., div. of Nagase & Company

Best Technical Development Manufacturing Award - Vitriflex

Vitriflex won this award for having designed, constructed, and operated a state-of-the-art manufacturing line for production of transparent ultra-barrier films for use in flexible electronics.
Flexible encapsulation is a long-sought enabling technology, critical to the emergence of large-area flexible and printed electronics. The permeation of water vapor and oxygen is a problem in many such applications. Vitriflex has invented and demonstrated a novel barrier film applicable to flexible OLED display, Quantum Dot films, OLED lighting, and flexible solar PV.
Vitriflex has developed a novel all-inorganic barrier film technology and of particular importance for this award category, a novel approach to R2R (roll-to-roll) manufacturing equipment design and process development that enables volume production of barrier films with excellent WVTR (achieving 10-6 g/m2/day) wide-web width (up to 1.4 m), high throughput (> 1M m2/year), robust cyclic flexibility (>100,000 cycles), excellent optical transparency, high reliability, and low cost.

Best Technical Development Materials Award - Parker Hannifin Corporation

Parker Hannifin develops and products sensors based on electro active polymer (EAP) technology. Their "High Strain Sensor" is an example of this effort, a product that has the capability to strain up to 100% with ±0.5% accuracy for a given temperature. The company needed a conductive ink that is capable of maintaining reasonable conductivity when strained up to 100%. After they could not a provider of such a stretchable ink, they developed their own stretchable ink formulation in house.
This stretchable electrode ink they developed can strain up to 100% while still retaining conductivity suitable for their needs. It has no nano-carbon particles and therefore is easy to get TSCA approval for mass production.

Academic R&D Award - University of Massachusetts Lowell Raytheon

The University of Massachusetts Lowell Raytheon won this award for development of a ferroelectric ink for direct printing of high-frequency voltage variable dielectrics on flexible substrates for tunable RF and microwave applications
This ink allows for realizing an all-printed high-frequency voltage variable capacitor on a flexible substrate to be used in tunable RF and microwave applications such as phased array antennas, conformal antennas, and tunable frequency selective surfaces.
The tunable dielectric is a multi-phase Barium Strontium Titanate (BST)/polymer composite made by suspending nano/submicron-sized particles of BST in a thermoplastic polymer, namely Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC). The composite is further dissolved in a solvent with a dispersant to obtain the Tunable nano-BST/Polymer ink (TnBST/P ink). The composite benefits from the processing flexibility of the polymer so that only a curing step at temperatures below 200 °C suffices to solidify the material, thus bypassing sintering steps traditionally required for ferroelectric materials. In order to enable tunability in the composite, three inter-correlated parameters had to be fine-tuned: Ba/Sr ratio (or x) in BaxSr1-xTiO3, BST particle size, and BST loading fraction. In particular, the Ba/Sr ratio of the BST particles was appropriately selected from a narrow window, which depends on the particle size of utilized inclusions.

Best Product Development Award - ARMOR SAS

ARMOR SAS won this award for development of Orion, a new solar lamp concept. Most of the powerful portable solar lamps propose a separate solar panel with a limited power peak (<4Wp), which is not very useful when you need to carry the lamp on a regular basis.
Orion solar lamp is a two in one concept: the PV module (organic photovoltaics or OPV) is not a separate element but fully integrated within the core of the lamp. The OPV module can be unrolled easily for charging the battery and rolled up manually within the lamp at night or during transportation. The advantages of that concept is that it is easy to adjust the peak power according to the weather conditions and to deliver more than 4W peak power if needed. The Orion lamp concept can deliver up to 8W peak power, a great advantage to guarantee lighting at night when you may only have a few sunny hours available within the day. A great advantage as well to secure both services: lighting and phone charging the same day. Doubling the peak power has no impact on lamp size and minor impact on the weight because the OPV can be unrolled.
Orion Lamp. Source: ARMOR SAS

Best Commercialization Award - Engineered Materials Systems, Inc., div. of Nagase & Company

Engineered Materials Systems, Inc won this award for the use of their stretchable conductive ink in the successful commercial product MIMO Baby, made by Rest Devices.
Rest Devices developed breakthrough wearable technology that combined capacitive sensing, blue tooth transmission of real-time biological data, and a clever way to integrate chip and power. What they lacked was a conductive ink that would meet their requirements of soft, stretchable and durable.
Engineered Materials Systems submitted their flagship silver conductive ink, CI-1036 which worked very well according to Rest Devices engineers and was a key enabler to commercialization of MIMO Baby.
CI-1036 is applied to proprietary film and insulated with a proprietary top-coat. This combination is reported by Rest Devices to withstand 90 wash/dry cycles of the MIMO Baby kimono with the failure mode not due to the conductive circuitry.
Source: Rest Devices
The next IDTechEx Printed Electronics awards will be held at the in Berlin, Germany on 26-27 April 2016. For more details see

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Posted on: November 20, 2015

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