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EP/L505201/1 - AUTOFLEX - Automated Integration of Flexible Electronics

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Dr AJ Flewitt EP/L505201/1 - AUTOFLEX - Automated Integration of Flexible Electronics

Principal Investigator - Engineering, University of Cambridge

Scheme

Technology Programme

Research Areas

Manufacturing Technologies Manufacturing Technologies

Start Date

09/2013

End Date

02/2015

Value

£194,642

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

The increasing ubiquity of electronics has had a profound influence upon everyday life over the last forty years. The mobile
telephone is perhaps the most obvious example of this, as it allows someone to be constantly connected to a range of
electronic resources. This trend is continuing, and more and more everyday objects are becoming electronically enabled.
The challenge is to be able to add electronic functionality to objects with minimal impact upon cost, and this is being
addressed by the field known as 'large-area electronics' which looks at how electronic devices can be fabricated on a
diversity of surfaces (such as glass or plastics) over large areas. Although the large-area electronics industry has
historically been dominated by displays, it is now diversifying to other areas including printed logic, and it is this that will
allow electronic functionality to be added to everyday objects [Nathan, A., et al., Proc. IEEE, 100, 1486 (2012)].
The large-area electronic display industry has found it absolutely essential to be able to perform in-line testing (and
subsequent repair) of products for economic production [D. Hendricks, 'Inspection and test of flat panel displays', Proc.
SPIE, 2174, 107-115 (1994)]. This is a consequence of the very large areas over which display manufacture takes place,
and the statistical likelihood of a significant defect being present per unit area. The high value of the display backplane
means that testing and repair is economically essential.
A similar approach will be necessary in the next generation of large-area printed logic electronics. Although the use of low
cost materials and processes in the manufacture of printed logic means that the cost of an individual system for integration
into labels, novelty products, toys and games and similar applications is orders of magnitude lower than the display, there
is still an economic driver for testing, assuming that the cost of the test can be made to be sufficiently low. However,
whereas the testing of a display can be achieved economically using established techniques that employ probe cards and
multiple communication channels, this will not be true for printed logic where production speeds could be in excess of 1
million circuits per hour. Therefore, a step-change is required to be able to perform economical testing at such high rates,
and this is the focus of the research in this project.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: AUTOFLEX - Automated Integration of Flexible Electronics - EP/L505201/1
Start Date: 2013-09-01T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2015-02-28T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: University of Cambridge

Description: The increasing ubiquity of electronics has had a profound influence upon everyday life over the last forty years. The mobile telephone is perhaps the most obvious example of this, as it allows someone to be constantly connected to a range of electronic r ...