From Lab to Fab: Materials, Printing and Processing of Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Spyglass Monday, February 18
1:00pm to 4:00pm

From Lab to Fab: Materials, Printing and Processing of Flexible Hybrid Electronics


  • Michael A. Mastropietro, ACI Materials

  • Mark D. Poliks, Binghamton University

  • Wilfried Bair, NextFlex Manufacturing USA

  • James J. Watkins, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


From Lab to Fab: Materials, Printing, and Processing of Flexible Hybrid Electronics

This course will review the three main approaches to FHE as well as the underlying technologies required to deliver products and processes now and in the future. These three approaches include chip-on-flex, micron-scale thin-film devices on flex and sub-micron scale self-assembled/imprinted device based coatings on flex. The discussions will include fundamentals of printing, coating and patterning technologies, as well as challenges associated with pick and place, attachment of thinned silicon, die on flex and emerging technologies that will enable direct printing of highly integrated components and devices.  Based on their experience, participation in NBMC and NextFlex R&D projects and reviews of the technical literature, the instructors from ACI Materials, Inc., Binghamton University, NextFlex and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will provide a comprehensive overview of applications, design approaches, and trending developments in manufacturing methods of FHE.     

An optional tour of NextFlex will be available on Friday, February 22, 2019, at 2:00pm PST.  Transportation will not be provided.  Sign up to participate in this workshop.  Participation subject to approval of NextFlex.

Course Outline
  1. Introduction
  • Historical Perspective and Needs
  1. Printed Electronics
  • Designing for FHE
  • Selecting the right print method and ink for an additively manufactured circuits
  • Basic performance metrics of printed conductors and functional materials
  • Introduction to various printing methods for functional inks: direct write methods: ink-jet, aerosol-jet, extrusion, micro-dispensing, and more
  • Printing methods requiring a master: screen printing, flexo, gravure, gravure offset
  • Coating methods: slot-die, Meyer rod
  • Challenges of drying and curing functional inks
  1. Design-for-fabrication, variability and controls in 2, 3 and 5 axis aerosol jet printing
  1. Heterogeneous integration, flexible hybrid electronics and packaging overview
    • Electronics packaging and assembly for FHE
    • NextFlex Manufacturing USA and NextFlex pilot line
    • Design and fabrication of a flexible Arduino using bare-die integration
    • Design and fabrication of wearable FHE human performance monitors
  1. Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing
  • Substrates: plastic, metal foils, thin flexible glass
  • Coatings: metal, TCO, dielectrics, thin film semiconductors
  • Vacuum processes: PVD/sputter, plasma etch, laser ablation
  • Photolithographic patterning
  • Design and fabrication of active & passive Integration on thin flexible glass and ceramic:  interposer, TFTs and antennas
  • Design and fabrication of printed sensors on paper
  1. Emerging Methods and Technologies
  • Imprint lithography
  • Spatial ALD
  • Directed self assembly
  • Nanoparticle dispersions
  • Solution-based coatings: additive driven assembly
  • Transfer printing
  • Nano-imprint patterning
  1. Design and fabrication of wearable microfluidic based sensors
  1. Continuous Nanofabrication Processes
  • Applications, requirements, design and fabrication of:
    • Large area infrared sensors
    • Large area energy and light management with meta structures
    • Antimicrobial/super hydrophobic surfaces for biomedical devices
    • Power storage
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