IFETC 2021 invited presentations are listed below. Please check back for updates.

Additive Manufacturing

Advanced design capabilities and manufacturing considerations utilizing liquid metal conductors in flexible hybrid electronics

Mike Hopkins

Liquid Wire, Inc.

Liquid metal (LM) conductors enhance flexible hybrid electronics (FHEs) in two major ways, additional flexibility and best-in-class stretchability. Durability of as built circuits under heavy flex and stretch cycling is greatly improved. Along with this enhancement come completely new modalities in design and manufacture of a circuit. The key to LMFHE manufacture is the via structure. The via becomes not only the method of generating more complex, multi-layer circuits, but also the hard to soft transition step that connects a soft circuit to the traditional world of connectors, ICs, and solid wiring. We have spent the last few years in generating robust heterogeneous junctions and via systems and characterized them under rigorous physical testing. We have also spent this time exploring creative ways in which soft circuits can be generated by laminate additive manufacture and how these can lead to novel device structures. We have determined design rules for manufacture supporting modular FHE architectures with LMFHE interconnect and via systems that lead to better mechanical and manufacturing outcomes and have metrics that show these performance increases.

Dr. Hopkins has worked in the field of soft electronics for four years with Liquid Wire Inc. Primarily operating in the role of lead electronics designer and staff scientist while the company transitioned from LLC to C-corp, and through its successful raising of multimillion dollar series A investment. Through this time Dr. Hopkins has developed many methodologies of sensing with gel phase conductors and manufacturing techniques for application of fluid and gel phase conductors. Working with many designers in the performance apparel industry he has generated many successful prototype products in the flexible hybrid electronics space. Prior to joining Liquid Wire Dr. Hopkins has worked on the design and use of many pieces of scientific equipment. Co-developing three separate near-field scanning optical microscopes with Drs. Andres LaRosa, Rodolfo Hernandez-Rodriguez, Eric Sanchez, and John Freeouf, he developed new tip designs, operation level enhancements and optimizations in signal strengthening for various detection methodologies. Dr. Hopkins has also spent many years in thin film deposition and characterization, building two thermal evaporation system and one sputter deposition system operating at high vacuum, while also using commercial deposition systems including atomic layer deposition. His work a Portland State University culminated with a Ph.D. on the topic of quantum chemistry in magnetic thin film chalcogenides.

Process-Properties-Performance Interaction of Additively Printed Flexible Circuits with Surface Mount Components

Pradeep Lall

NSF-CAVE3 Electronics Research Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Auburn, AL

A number of processes for additive printed electronics have emerged including aerosol-jet printing, inkjet printing, dispense-on-demand printing, screen-printing, gravure printing amongst others. Additive printed technologies allow for design of manufacture of electronics in exceedingly small lot-sizes owing to the ability to print parts on demand. Technologies such as aerosol-jet, ink-jet printing, and dispense-on-demand printing allow for manufacture of non-planar components without the need for planar build-up often used in traditional methods presently used for electronics design and fabrication. In this paper, the interaction of process parameters with the electrical properties, mechanical properties, and the realized performance of ink-jet printed substrates and direct-write substrates has been studied. The frequency response of additively printed circuits has been compared with conventional circuits. The shear load to failure, and resistivity of the printed line have been studied to quantify the performance of the printed lines. Process parameters studied include droplet volume, on-off voltage, phase width, on-off time, print speed, resolution, ink pressure, platen temperature, standoff height. Better understanding of the effect of each process parameter in the printed lines will allow users to select appropriate process parameters for design functional performance. In addition, the development of process-property relationships will provide visibility into the critical parameters, which require added level of attention for process-control. Process parameter drift over a long production run may be important for a high-volume production environment. The effect on the print process may be in the form of line consistency, and resistance – both of which have been quantified in this study through the quantification of process-capability for z-axis interconnects. Data is presented on 2-layer and 5-layer substrates.

Pradeep Lall is the MacFarlane Endowed Distinguished Professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the NSF-CAVE3 Electronics Research Center at Auburn University. He holds Joint Courtesy Appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Finance. He is a member of the technical-council, academic co-lead of the asset-monitoring TWG of NextFlex Manufacturing Institute. He is the author and co-author of 2-books, 14 book chapters, and over 700 journal and conference papers in the field of electronics reliability, safety, energy efficiency, and survivability. Dr. Lall is a fellow of the ASME, fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of NextFlex Manufacturing Institute, and a Fellow of the Alabama Academy of Science. He is recipient of the Auburn Research and Economic Development Advisory Board Award for Advancement of Research and Scholarship Achievement, IEEE Sustained Outstanding Technical Contributions Award, National Science Foundation’s Alex Schwarzkopf Prize for Technology Innovation, Alabama Academy of Science’s Wright A. Gardner Award, IEEE Exceptional Technical Achievement Award, ASME-EPPD Applied Mechanics Award, SMTA’s Member of Technical Distinction Award, Auburn University’s Creative Research and Scholarship Award, SEC Faculty Achievement Award, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Senior Faculty Research Award, Three-Motorola Outstanding Innovation Awards, Five-Motorola Engineering Awards, and over Thirty Best-Paper Awards at national and international conferences.

Uniaxial and Multiaxial Test Techniques for Reliability Assessment of Flexible and Wearable Electronics

Suresh K. Sitaraman

The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dramatic advances in materials synthesis and processing, scalable manufacturing, and on-demand and customizable design have led to increasing interest in flexible and wearable electronics for a wide range of application areas such as health care, energy, transportation and mobility, communications, defense and security, safety, water, and food. To sustain and grow the enormous interest in flexible and wearable electronics, it is critical to ensure that flexible and wearable devices and systems are reliable through their intended operational life. In this presentation, I will discuss some of the uniaxial and biaxial reliability test techniques that are under development in our lab, and how these techniques can be employed to mimic in-use conditions of flexible and wearable electronics devices and systems. I will present physics-based computational simulations to provide insight into the stress-strain evolution at various locations, and to demonstrate how damage evolution can be linked to failures. Details from cross-sectional images as well as digital image correlation measurements will also be discussed. I will close the discussion by examining various practical applications and their potential failure modes, and how the developed test techniques can be tailored toward examining such applications.

Dr. Suresh K. Sitaraman is a Regents’ Professor and a Morris M. Bryan, Jr. endowed Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Dr. Sitaraman is the Lead Faculty for NextFlex at Georgia Tech, and also directs the Computer-Aided Simulation of Packaging Reliability (CASPaR) Lab. His expertise is in the areas of micro- and nano-scale structure fabrication, testing and characterization and physics-based modeling and reliable design, as applied to flexible and rigid microsystems. Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 1995, Dr. Sitaraman was with IBM Corp. Dr. Sitaraman has co-authored more than 320 journal and conference publications over the past few years. He has managed several research and development projects funded by US federal agencies, industry, and other sources totaling millions of dollars, and has mentored a vast array of post-doctoral fellows as well as doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, and high-school students. Dr. Sitaraman’s work has been recognized through several awards and honors. Among them, he has received the Zeigler Outstanding Educator Award from Georgia Tech/Mechanical Engineering in 2019, the NextFlex Fellow recognition in 2018, the Outstanding Achievement in Research Program Development Award (Team Leader) from Georgia Tech in 2017, the ASME/EPPD (Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division) Applied Mechanics Award in 2012 and the Thomas French Achievement Award from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University in 2012. Dr. Sitaraman has received the Sustained Research Award from Georgia Tech – Sigma Xi in 2008 and the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award for the Development of Graduate Research Assistants, Georgia Tech in 2006. His co-authored papers have won the Commendable Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging in 2004 and the Best Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies in 2001 and 2000. Dr. Sitaraman has also received the Metro-Atlanta Engineer of the Year in Education Award in 1999 and the NSF-CAREER Award in 1997. Dr. Sitaraman serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology. Dr. Sitaraman is an ASME Fellow.

Flexible Multilayer Printed Circuit Board Prototype Offering for Confined Form Factors

John Williams

Additive Electronics Manufacturing (AET), Boeing Research and Technology

Boeing is rapidly prototyping multilayer flexible printed circuit boards (Flex-PCBs) for size weight power and cost saving applications. Flex PCBs allow electronics to be wrapped onto cylindrical or bi-axial curved surfaces. Conventional Flex PCBs contain either one to four copper layers with limited electronic packaging. Most devices are bonded on either end to rigid boards that contain complex packaged electronics. However, our process extends this effort to complete the entire electronics application from single to eight layer boards. Thus allowing antennas, sensors, communication links, and radars to be placed directly onto the surface of a vehicle. Similarly, power routing, and microcontrollers can conform to the surface or interior cavity. This technology provides a transformative approach to packaging PCBs in aerospace applications. Our team has demonstrated this capability on RF boards with no less than 500 through vias, 100 buried vias, and 50 electronically packaged components. Boards can be turned in days without electroplating. Pyralux AP polyimide substrates from DuPont, Taconic, and 3M bonding adhesive achieves alignment errors of 2 mil or less over an 8 x 10 square inch area. Kapton substrates can also be used with additional alignment risk. Patterning can be completed with either copper or silver ink. Vias are filled using conductive inks. Electronic packaging is currently performed using anisotropic conductive epoxy, but industrially standard solder attach is also available for copper clad and plated devices. Cost models have been completed for printed silver devices, documenting the manufacturability from MRL 4 to 6. We are currently examining pilot capability of different suppliers to manufacture devices as needed.

Dr. Williams is an Associate Technical Fellow and the lead engineer for Additive Electronics Manufacturing at Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T) in Huntsville. After completing his PhD, John served as the science and technology lead for the Metal Micromachining effort at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. He later joined the University of Alabama in Huntsville as an Assistant Professor of Electrical, Materials, and Optical Engineering and Associate Director of the their Nano and Micro Devices Center. Dr. Williams has more than 15 years of experience as a PI lead for prototype development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) with over 27 patents and 40 peer reviewed publications in the areas of materials processing, metals, microfabrication, photonics, and RF electronics and bioMEMS. Dr Williams’ research has been funded by NSF, DARPA, NASA, NIH, and US ARMY-SMDC. He is currently the Principal Investigator on five NextFlex projects used to improve manufacturing readiness of materials and processes to multilayer layer printing of DC electronics, antennas, and complex multilyaer printed circuit boards for RF applications.

Chemistry & Materials

Towards Efficient and Stable Printed Single-Layer OLEDs

Paul W.M. Blom

Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany

The efficiency and stability of single-layer polymer light-emitting diodes is compromised by unbalanced charge transport, absence of triplet-exciton harvesting and low photoluminescence quantum efficiencies. We demonstrate that tuning the energy levels of the organic semiconductor can prevent charge trapping, which is the main cause of unbalanced charge transport, resulting in a symmetric broadened emission zone. A broadened recombination zone is beneficial for the lifetime of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), but its effect on the optical outcoupling efficiency is unknown. By combining an electrical and optical model we demonstrate that the total outcoupling can be calculated as the integral of the outcoupling efficiency over different positions of emitting dipoles, weighted by the sum-normalized recombination profile, as obtained from electrical modeling. For a single-layer OLED based on the thermally delayed activated fluorescence emitter 9,10-bis(4-(9H-carbazol-9-yl)-2,6-dimethylphenyl)-9,10-diboraanthracene (CzDBA) the outcoupling efficiency to air mode can be as high as ~24%. As a result, single-layer devices with a broadened emission zone can achieve similar outcoupling efficiency to multilayer OLEDs establishing a route to efficient, stable, and simplified OLEDs.

Paul W.M. Blom received his Ph. D. Degree in 1992 from the Technical University Eindhoven on picosecond charge carrier dynamics in GaAs. At Philips Research Laboratories he was engaged in the electro-optical properties of polymer light-emitting diodes. From 2000 he held a professorship at the University of Groningen in the field of electrical and optical properties of organic semiconducting devices. In September 2008 he became Scientific Director of the Holst Centre in Eindhoven, where the focus is on foil-based electronics, followed in 2012 by an appointment as director at the MPI for polymer research in the field of molecular electronics.

Pushing the Limits of Printed and Flexible Organic Electronics: Thin, Fast and … Edible.

Mario Caironi

Center for Nano Science and Technology @PoliMi, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Pascoli 70/3, Milano, Italy

Printed polymer field-effect transistors (FETs) have been considered for many novel applications towards large area and flexible electronics, since they can enable pervasive integration of electronic functionalities in all sorts of appliances, their portability and wearability. Here I will report on our recent efforts in making printed polymer electronics (i) ultrathin, to enhance as much as possible conformability, (ii) fast switching, to enable more applications at Radio-Frequencies and (iii) edible, towards electronics systems made with non-toxic, ingestible materials, serving smart pharmaceuticals and food-tagging applications.

Mario Caironi obtained his Ph.D. in Information Technology with honours at Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy). In 2007 he joined the group of Prof. Sirringhaus at the Cavendish Lab. (Cambridge, UK) as a post-doc, working for 3 years on high resolution printing of downscaled organic transistors and circuits, and on charge transport in high mobility polymers. In 2010 he was appointed as Team Leader at the Center for Nano Science and Technology@PoliMi (CNST) of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT, Milan, Italy). In 2014 he entered the tenure track at the same institution, obtaining tenure in 2019. He is currently interested in solution based high resolution printing techniques for micro-electronic, opto-electronic and thermoelectrics devices, in the device physics of organic semiconductors based field-effect transistors, in biomedical and/or implantable sensors and electronics for the healthcare. He is a 2014 ERC Starting grantee and a 2019 ERC Consolidator grantee.

Organic Bioelectronics: Next Generation Point-of-Care Sensors

Anna-Maria Pappa

University of Cambridge

The development of micro-electronic devices/chips that bridge the gap between the rigidity of traditional electronics with the soft mechanics of biological systems is highly desirable. The emergence of highly conjugated polymers has indeed opened up exciting directions in biomedical research including point-of-care diagnostics. With the ultimate goal of fully integrated wearable sensors combined with IoT, and that of autonomous at-home diagnostic tests, organic bioelectronic technologies have been heavily explored the past decade resulting in novel device configurations. Multiplexing capability, ability to adopt to complex performance requirements in biological fluids, sensitivity, stability, literal flexibility and compatibility with large-area processes are only some of the merits of conjugated polymers for point of care diagnostics. This talk will summarize our recent efforts on developing biosensors for health monitoring, on rigid and flexible substrates showcasing the potential of conjugated polymers towards next generation point of care sensors.

Anna-Maria Pappa is an Oppenheimer Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. She is also a research Fellow in Pembroke College in Cambridge. She holds a PhD in Bioelectronics from Ecole Mines de Saint-Étienne, France, where she held a Marie Curie fellowship. She has been awarded the L’Oreal UNESCO Science fellowship (2017) and has been included in the Under 35 Young Innovators list by the MIT Technology Review for 2019. Her research combines microelectronics with biological models for next generation in vitro assays.

Semiconducting: Insulating Polymer Blends Targeted for Flexible Optoelectronic Applications

Natalie Stingelin

School of Materials Science & Engineering / School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

In recent years, immense efforts in the flexible electronics field have led to unprecedented progress and to devices of ever increasing performance. Despite these advances, new opportunities are sought in order to widen the applications of organic-based technologies and expand their functionalities and features. For this purpose, use of multicomponent systems seems an interesting approach in view of, e.g., increasing the mechanical flexibility and stability of organic electronic products as well as introducing other features such as self-encapsulation. One specific strategy is based on blending polymeric insulators with organic semiconductors; which has led to a desired improvement of the mechanical properties of organic devices, producing in certain scenarios robust and stable architectures. Here we discuss the working principle of semiconductor:insulator blends, examining the different approaches that have recently been reported in literature. We illustrate how organic field-effect transistors (OFET)s and organic solar cells (OPV)s can be fabricated with such systems without detrimental effects on the resulting device characteristics even at high contents of the insulator. Furthermore, we review the various properties that can be enhanced and/or manipulated by blending including air stability, mechanical toughness, H- vs. J-aggregation, etc.


Reinventing Electronics for a Flexible World

Feras Alkhalil

Principal Scientist and Director of R&D, PragmatIC

Dr. Feras Alkhalil joined PragmatIC in September 2015 and leads the research and development activities at PragmatIC. He received his MSc and Ph.D. from the University of Southampton in Microelectronics System Design and Solid-State Electronics, respectively. Feras is a visiting fellow at Durham University, Department of Physics since September 2017, he holds 5 patents and has published in over 15 international journals.

Organic Transistor Materials for Organic Liquid Crystal Displays

Mike Banach


Active matrix backplanes on glass almost exclusively use hard ceramic based materials as the basis for the fundamental transistor technology. To enable flexible displays and electronics, FlexEnable has pioneered an alternative manufacturing approach with soft, flexible organic materials as the active layers. In this talk we will review the best in class organic transistor materials and their fundamental electrical performance. We will also discuss how these materials enable plastic liquid displays with unique form factors.

Mike Banach is the Technical Director at FlexEnable. He started his career as a researcher in flexible electronics at the Air Force Research Laboratories at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in USA. He joined FlexEnable in 2003 and has played an instrumental role in developing and industrialising its proprietary flexible electronic technology. As technical director, Mike has lead the team behind breakthrough technology developments with organic transistors including OLED and LCD displays and digital circuit applications. He holds a doctorate degree from the University of Cambridge and a BA from the University of Cincinnati.

From Flexible Perovskite Solar Cells to Large Area Modules: Challenges and Perspectives

Francesca Brunetti

Electronic Eng. Dept. - University of Rome Tor Vergata Via del Politecnico

Flexible perovskite solar cells (FPSCs) are prime candidates for several applications like consumer electronics, avionic and spacecraft where bendability, conformability and high power-to-weight ratio are required. Despite record efficiencies of lab-scale flexible devices (19.5% on 0.1 cm2 area), FPSCs are still lagging behind their rigid counterparts, which in very short time have rocketed 25.2% efficiency. Several questions related to these devices are still open and represent critical factors towards the commercialization of this technology: which are the demanding aspects to face when moving from rigid to flexible substrates? What are the strategies necessary to scale up from flexible perovskite solar cells to modules (FPSMs) using large-area automated techniques? How can the stability issue be addressed for flexible devices? This talk will explore possible answers to those questions showing also an example of a potential application of FPSMs in the field of flexible portable electronics.

Prof. Francesca Brunetti received her PhD in Telecommunications and Microelectronics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2005. In 2005, she was awarded of a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship spent in the Institute for Nanoelectronics of the Technical University of Munich, Germany. In 2006 she became researcher in the Department of Electronic Engineering of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and since 2018, she is associated professor at the same Department. Cofounder of the Centre for Hybrid and Organic Solar Energy at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (CHOSE, her current research is focused on the analysis, design and manufacture of electronic and optoelectronic devices. In particular, her attention is focused on organic photodetectors for applications in low cost optical communications, third-generation organic solar cells on flexible substrates, graphene for application in organic solar cells, perovskite solar cells and large are modules. Recently, she started an activity on the realization of supercapacitors on flexible and recyclable substrates, among which paper. Prof. Brunetti has published more than 60 articles in the most prestigious international journals, she holds 5 patents. She is associated editor of the journal "Sustainable Energy and Fuels" (RSC).

Development of Printed Electrolyte-Gated Transistors for Biological Sensing Applications

Ta-Ya Chu

Advanced Electronics and Photonics Research Centre, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

In this talk, the challenges and opportunity of electrolyte-gated field effect transistors (EGFET) will be introduced for the biological sensing applications. Different type electrolyte materials have been applied for EGFET in the last two decades, the state-of-the-art in the application of biosensing will be presented. Proton conducting polymer electrolytes have shown a great potential due to their high ionic conductivity and environmental stability. We have demonstrated a phosphoric acid-PVA proton conducting polymer EGFET with organic semiconductor which achieved a low subthreshould swing of 90 mV/decade with sub 1 V operation voltage and a high ON/OFF ratio of 105. Further development of printing process for the fabrication of printed sweat wristband will be discussed.

Dr. Chu has been working as a Research Officer/Scientist at National Research Council Canada since 2008. He has more than twenty years of experience in the field of organic electronics, such as OLED, OPV, OTFT and printable electronics. He has contributed more than fifty publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings which have been cited more than 3,000 times. Dr. Chu is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at University of Toronto. He also serves as the chair of the IEEE EDS Flexible Electronics and Display Technical Committee and the Canadian Vice-Chair for IEC TC-119 Printed Electronics.

Liquid Metal Enabled Soft and Stretchable Electronics

Michael Dickey

NC State University, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Liquid Metals? Usually the term evokes thoughts of mercury (toxic!) or the Terminator (a villain!). Yet, gallium-based liquid metals are often overlooked despite their remarkable properties: melting points below room temperature, water-like viscosity, low-toxicity (unlike Hg), and effectively zero vapor pressure (they don’t evaporate!). They also have, by far, the largest interfacial tension of any liquid at room temperature. Normally small volumes of liquids form spherical or hemi-spherical structures to minimize surface energy. Yet, these liquid metals can be patterned into non-spherical shapes (cones, wires, etc) due to a thin, oxide skin that forms rapidly on its surface. This talk will describe efforts in our research group to harness this oxide to pattern and manipulate metal into shapes—such as wires and particles—that are useful for applications that call for soft and deformable metallic features. It is possible to pattern the metal by injection into microchannels or by direct-write 3D printing at room temperature to form ultra-stretchable wires, deformable antennas, and microelectrodes. It is also possible to remove / deposit the oxide using electrochemistry to manipulate the surface tension of the metal over unprecedented ranges (from the largest tension of any known liquid to near zero) and thereby control the shape and position of the metal for shape reconfigurable devices. This work has implications for soft and stretchable electronics; that is, devices with desirable mechanical properties for human-machine interfacing, soft robotics, and wearable electronics.

Michael Dickey received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (1999) and a PhD from the University of Texas (2006) under the guidance of Professor Grant Willson. From 2006-2008 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Professor George Whitesides at Harvard University. He is currently the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at NC State University. He completed a sabbatical at Microsoft in 2016. Michael’s research interests include soft matter (liquid metals, gels, polymers) for soft and stretchable devices (electronics, energy harvesters, textiles, and soft robotics).

A Critical Comparison of Printed Semiconductor Based Thin-Film Transistor Technologies for Small Channel Length Applications

Ananth Dodabalapur

The University of Texas at Austin

Thin-film transistor (TFTs) channel lengths need to shrink as performance requirements get more demanding for several applications. The switching speed and current drive capability are expected to improve as channel lengths reduce for most field-effect transistors. In many TFTs, contact resistance issues get severe at small channel length. Additionally, the physics of charge transport and basic performance characteristics can change quite substantially at small channel lengths in the range 10 nm – 3 micrometer. We will review these properties for amorphous metal oxide, polymer/organic, and printed single walled carbon nanotube TFTs. Such semiconductors can be deposited from solution by printing.

Ananth Dodabalapur received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1990. Between 1990 and 2001 he was with Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ. He has published more than 250 articles in refereed journals which have resulted in an H Index of more than 90 (Google Scholar), and has 27 issued US patents, which have been cited nearly 2000 times. Since September 2001, he is with The University of Texas at Austin and holds the Motorola Regents Chair in Engineering. His present research includes organic and inorganic thin-film transistors and optoelectronic devices, 2D materials device physics and device chemistry, and flexible thin-film electronics. In 2003, he co-founded OrganicID, a company that is investigating using printable polymer electronics to fabricate low-cost RFID tags for the 13.56 MHz frequency. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Flexible and Printed Electronics.

Solution Processed Organic Photodetectors: Science, Technology and Applications.

Gerwin H. Gelinck

Holst Centre/TNO, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Technical University Eindhoven (Department of Applied Physics)

Thanks to their low-temperature processing on large-area flexible substrates thin-film organic photodetectors (OPDs) are very attractive for a range of large area imaging and sensing applications. The presentation will consist of two parts. In the first part I will focus on better understanding the physical mechanisms that determine the intrinsic limits of the detectivity of OPDs, in particular the dark current in relation to dark injection and charge generation-recombination currents. In the second part will present some recent developments in realizing curved X-ray detectors and -upon integration with OLED displays - biometric scanners that can accurately image finger-, palm and vein patterns and simultaneously record PPG signals that can be used to monitor health parameters such as heart beat, oxygen saturation and blood pressure, thus demonstrating the advantages of organic photodiodes in high-resolution, flexible large-area photodetectors.

Prof. Dr. G.H. Gelinck holds a Ph.D degree in physics of electrical functional polymers from the Technical University of Delft. In 1998 Gerwin joined the Philips Research Polymer Electronics cluster as a Senior Scientist, where he researched material and device aspects of organic thin-film transistors, with an emphasis on potential applications such as RF tags and AM displays. He headed the technology team that reported through scientific papers groundbreaking work on the use of polymer transistors in integrated circuits and tags, flexible displays and reprogrammable memories.. He was co-founder and Chief Scientist of Polymer Vision from 2002-2006. In 2007 Gerwin joint TNO/Holst Centre as Program manager/director, leading an international team of ~20 researchers. He is appointed as full professor at the University of Eindhoven in the Applied Physics Department per Sept 1st 2014. Since 2019 he is CTO of TNO/Holst Centre. Gerwin is the (co-)author of over 125 scientific papers on electrical functional polymers and polymeric devices and holds more than 25 patent applications and filings. His research interests include novel solution-processed semiconductors, fundamental charge and energy transport in these disordered materials in thin-film transistors, photodiodes and polymer actuators, and applications based on these materials/devices. .

Highly Compliant Flexible and Printable Magnetoelectronics for Human-Machine Interfaces and Soft Robotics

Denys Makarov

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

Motion sensing is the primary task in numerous disciplines including industrial robotics, prosthetics, virtual and augmented reality appliances. In rigid electronics, rotations, displacements and vibrations are typically monitored using magnetic field sensors. Here, we will discuss the fabrication of flexible, stretchable and printable magnetoelectronic devices. The technology platform relies on high-performance magnetoresistive and Hall effect sensors deposited or printed on ultrathin polymeric foils. These skin compliant flexible and printable magnetosensitive elements enable touchless interactivity with our surroundings based on the interaction with magnetic fields, which is relevant for smart skins, soft robotics and human-machine interfaces.

Denys Makarov obtained his Master Degree (2005) at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in Ukraine, followed by a Ph.D. (2008) from the University of Konstanz in Germany. Until September 2015, he was group leader of “Magnetic Nanomembranes” at the Leibniz IFW Dresden. Since October 2015, Denys Makarov is a member of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and currently assumes a position of the head of department “Intelligent materials and systems” and leads the Helmholtz Innovation Lab FlexiSens. With his activities, Denys Makarov made a decisive contribution to the development of the field of curvilinear magnetism and stimulated research on spintronics on flexible, bendable and stretchable surfaces. Mechanically flexible, printable and skin compliant magnetic field sensors enable new application scenarios for human-machine interfaces, soft robotics, eMobility and medicine. The development of this novel research field is supported in the frame of major national and European projects. Denys Makarov a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Fellow of the Young Academy of Europe.

Michael D. McCreary

E Ink Corporation

Dr. Michael McCreary is responsible for expanding the portfolio of advanced technologies at E Ink to help enabling new generations of novel electronic paper and other products. Dr. McCreary is a veteran of the imaging industry with a 47 year career that spans chemical photographic image capture, digital chip image capture, and digital display imaging. He also currently serves on the Governing Board of the SEMI FlexTech Alliance Council. Prior to joining E Ink in 2000, McCreary held a number of leadership positions with the Eastman Kodak Company, the last one being General Manager of the Microelectronics Technology Division which developed world record high performance solid-state image sensors including the CCDs used in high quality Nikon and Canon professional cameras. McCreary earned his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed further studies in solid state and device physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. McCreary has been a frequent invited speaker at many international technical symposia and is named co-inventor on 92 patents worldwide.

Flexible Piezoelectric Ultrasonic Transducers Based on Thin-Film Technology: from technology to driving methodologies

Kris Myny

KU Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium, imec, Heverlee, Belgium

Mid-air ultrasound applications such as vibrotactile feedback and gesture recognition have recently gained traction in the domain of human-machine interaction (HMI) [1]. The ability to integrate flexible ultrasound transducers arrays to various surfaces presents an opportunity to enable non-contact HMI applications, which is becoming increasingly relevant given the recent COVID-19 pandemic. I.e. mitigating pathogenic cross-infection from touching surfaces. Interactive applications which can be enhanced using haptic feedback and/or gesture control such as virtual or augmented reality and telepresence are also foreseen. In order to enable those applications, we will discuss the piezoelectric ultrasound micromachined transducers (pMUTs) that we have developed using thin-film technology processes. These polymer-based pMUTs have the capability to be directly fabricated on flexible thin-film substrates, with the ability to be monolithically integrated with thin-film transistors (TFTs) as those used in the display industry. In the next section, we will discuss the modeling and driving of air-coupled pMUTs from electrical to acoustical simulations [2]. Driving these pMUT arrays to attain a high acoustic pressure field poses significant challenges in terms of power consumption and efficiency. Advanced charge recycling is introduced to tackle these challenges and reduce the required power consumption to drive pMUT arrays [3]. In addition, the monolithic integration of these pMUT arrays with TFT drivers introduces new challenges compared to a silicon-based solution. In this talk we elaborate upon the complexities to design driving circuits for pMUT arrays. Finally, we will discuss the direction and future developments of the thin-film ultrasound transducer technology, which includes the investigation of alternative piezoelectric materials, pMUT array topologies and driving architectures to improve efficiency and performance.This work is supported by the FWO grant of HAPPY: haptic feedback the next step in smart interfacing - S004418N.

Kris Myny received his PhD degree in electrical engineering from the KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, in 2013. He is now a Principal Member of Technical Staff and R&D Team Leader at imec, and part-time professor at KU Leuven. He specializes in circuit design for flexible thin-film transistor applications. His work has been published in numerous international journals and conferences, including Nature Electronics and several ISSCC contributions. He was listed as one of Belgium’s top tech pioneers by the business newspaper De Tijd and received in 2018 the European Young Researcher Award for design on thin-film electronics. In 2016 he also received a prestigious ERC Starting Grant from the European Commission to enable breakthrough research in thin-film transistor circuits (FLICs). He is now a member of the Young Academy of Belgium between 2019-2024. He also serves as track chair of the FLEPs conference.


Giorgio Dell'Erba

FLEEP Technologies

Giorgio Dell'Erba received his MSc degree from Politecnico di Milano (Italy, 2012) in Electronic Engineering with specialization in Electronics for Medicine and Nano-Biotechnology. He then obtained his PhD in Electronics (Italy, 2015) at Politecnico di Milano with a full scholarship from the Italian Institute of Technology. In 2016, he received the Young Innovator Under 35 award from MIT Technology Review Italy. During his postdoctoral studies, Dell'Erba received a Fulbright scholarship to study Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University Leavy School of Business (California, USA, 2018). During the same period, he was a Visiting Post-Doc at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs (California, USA). In 2019, he founded FLEEP Technologies (FLEEPtech) of which he is currently CEO. Giorgio is a mentor for multiple renowned startup accelerators such as INAM Berlin and Plug And Play Tech Center and is Scout Fellow for Berkeley Skydeck VC.

Novel High-Performance Organic Transistors

Karl Leo

Dresden Integrated Center for Applied Physics and Photonics (IAPP), Technische Universität Dresden

Karl Leo obtained the Diplomphysiker degree from the University of Freiburg in 1985, working with Adolf Goetzberger at the Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme. In 1988, he obtained the PhD degree from the University of Stuttgart for a PhD thesis performed at the Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung in Stuttgart under supervision of Hans Queisser. From 1989 to 1991, he was postdoc at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, NJ, U.S.A. From 1991 to 1993, he was with the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany. Since 1993, he is full professor of optoelectronics at the Technische Universität Dresden. His main interests are novel semiconductor systems like semiconducting organic thin films; with special emphasis to understand basics device principles and the optical response. His work was recognized by a number of awards, including: Otto-Hahn-Medaille (1989), Bennigsen-Förder-Preis (1991), Leibniz-Award (2002), award of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy (2002), Manfred-von-Ardenne-Preis (2006), Zukunftspreis of the German president (2011), Rudolf-Jäckel-Prize (2012), Dr. techn. h.c. of the University of Southern Denmark (2013), and Technology Transfer Prize of the DPG (2016). He is cofounder of several companies, including Novaled GmbH and Heliatek GmbH.

Optimizing Design and Fabrication of Flexible Hybrid Electronics for Medical and Industrial Applications

Mark Poliks

State University of New York at Binghamton

Mark D. Poliks is a SUNY Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Empire Innovation Professor of Engineering in Systems Science and Industrial Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is director of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM), a New York State Center of Advanced Technology and home to the New York Node of NextFlex. He serves as Chair of the Smart Energy Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence at the Binghamton campus. His research is in the areas of industry relevant topics that include: high performance electronics packaging, flexible hybrid electronics, medical and industrial sensors, printed RF components, materials, processing, aerosol jet printing, roll-to-roll manufacturing, in-line quality control and reliability of electronics. He is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research. He received FLEXI awards for leadership in Technology and Education from the FlexTech Alliance in 2009 and 2019. He has authored over one hundred fifty technical papers and holds forty-eight US patents. He was the General Chair of the 69th IEEE ECTC and serves as a IEEE Electronics Packaging Society Distinguished Lecturer.

AI Meets The Real World: Sensing Technologies Based on Large-Area Electronics for Advancing Machine Perception

Naveen Verma

Director of the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education and Professor of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

Machine capability has reached an inflection point, achieving human-level performance in tasks traditionally associated with cognition (vision, speech, gameplay). However, efforts to move such capability pervasively into the real world, have in many cases fallen far short, compared to the relatively constrained and isolated demonstrations of success. A major insight emerging is that structure in data can substantially enhance machine learning. This talk explores how complex processes of the real world can be addressed by preforming sensing in ways that preserve the rich structure of the real world. This evokes questions like: what sort of structure is useful; what sort of machine-learning models can exploit such structure; what sensing technologies enable this structure? Large-area/flexible electronics presents unique capabilities for deploying large and expansive arrays of form-fitting sensors, which can enable valuable structure in sensor data. This talk explores technological, architectural, and algorithmic opportunities and advances for harnessing such capabilities in next-generation systems, as well as prototype demonstrations of the resulting systems.

Naveen Verma received the B.A.Sc. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the UBC, Vancouver, Canada in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Since July 2009 he has been at Princeton University, where he is current Director of the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education and Professor of Electrical Engineering. His research focuses on advanced sensing systems, exploring how systems for learning, inference, and action planning can be enhanced by algorithms that exploit new sensing and computing technologies. This includes research on large-area, flexible sensors, energy-efficient statistical-computing architectures and circuits, and machine-learning and statistical-signal-processing algorithms. Prof. Verma has served as a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society, and on a number of conference program committees and advisory groups. Prof. Verma is the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards, including several best-paper awards, with his students.