Access the latest quantum technology

Quantum technology in Bristol and bath - find out more about how you can access the commercialisation of quantum technology for sensing and security

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Peelable stickers boost the IoT


By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Researchers at Purdue University and the University of Virginia have developed a new fabrication method that makes thin-film electronic circuits peelable from a surface, enabling stickers to add connectivty to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The technique not only eliminates several manufacturing steps and the associated costs, but also allows any object to sense its environment or be controlled through the sticker.

A YouTube video is available at https://youtu.be/8tNrPVi4OGg.

"We could customize a sensor, stick it onto a drone, and send the drone to dangerous areas to detect gas leaks, for example," said Chi Hwan Lee, Purdue assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Lee's transfer printing process cuts down manufacturing costs by using a single wafer to build a nearly infinite number of thin films holding electronic circuits. Instead of high temperatures and chemicals, the film can peel off at room temperature with water.

A ductile metal layer, such as nickel, inserted between the electronic film and the silicon wafer, makes the peeling possible in water. These thin-film electronics can then be trimmed and pasted onto any surface. Putting one of the stickers on a flower pot, for example, made that flower pot capable of sensing temperature changes that could affect the plant's growth.

Lee's lab also demonstrated that the components of electronic integrated circuits work just as well before and after they were made into a thin film peeled from a silicon wafer. The researchers used one film to turn on and off an LED light display.

"We've optimized this process so that we can delaminate electronic films from wafers in a defect-free manner," Lee said.

No comments: