Printed, flexible and organic
electronics will eventually impact most aspects of human endeavor, with the enabling materials, equipment, components and manufacturing being developed and launched today. To recognize and award outstanding achievement to those involved in this rapidly growing business the annual IDTechEx Printed Electronics
Awards are held each year. The awards were announced at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA event this week in Santa Clara, CA, USA - the World's leading event on the topic that brings together end users with suppliers. The event was attended by more than 2,500 people.
The entries were judged by the following panel:
A summary of the awards and winners are as follows:
Best Technical Development Manufacturing Award - Roth and Rau
Best Product Development Award - Electrozyme
Best Technical Development Materials Award - Raymor Industries Inc.
Semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes
(SC-SWCNT) enable network TFTs with high mobility (> 40 cm2/V-s), high current density (1-10 μA/μm) and excellent current ON/OFF ratios (up to 107 via solution processing). Up until now, there was no clear route to a scalable source of high purity (>99%) semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes, preventing SWCNT-based transistor
applications from being commercialized. As part of the Printable Electronics Consortium coordinated by the National Research Council of Canada
(NRCC), Raymor and NRCC have developed a scalable process for the purification and enrichment of SC-SWCNTs, using Raymor's plasma torch derived SWCNT material. The project has yielded a new product, IsoSol-S100, the highest purity semiconducting nanotube ink (99.9% pure) to be offered commercially today, winning Raymor this award.
Roth & Rau
won this award for having designed, built and installed multiple complete manufacturing lines for an inkjet printing process for solar cell production. Each line also includes all handling and post-processing modules needed for a complete and automated process flow in addition to the inkjet printing platform. Throughput is around 1200 wafers per hour per tool, matching the factory capacity.
The key features of the integrated lines realized in this project are multiple print head arrays with integrated UV
curing modules, high print speeds (1000mm/s), high resolution printing (5 micron), and integrated product
handling combined with a multi-stage approach. Roth & Rau also introduced a number of important innovations
such as automatic nozzle redundancy strategies combined with integrated post-print inspection feedback for
process control and yield improving.
Electrozyme (EZ) won this award for developing a printed electrochemical
sensor platform that enables the analysis of the chemical constituents of a wearer's perspiration in a real-time, non-invasive fashion. These skin-conformal sensors are fabricated via screen-printing, thereby reducing cost substantially and enabling them to be disposed of following a fitness routine. Owing to its versatility, the platform facilitates the quantification of metabolic and physical performance metrics such as physical exertion level, muscular fatigue, aerobic/anaerobic respiration, electrolyte balance, dermal pH levels, and dehydration. This unique capability charts a new course within the fitness, sport, and athletics monitoring domains whereby the metabolic response to a physical routine can be assessed, providing real-time feedback that can be used to optimize performance and endurance, as well as reduce fatigue or the likelihood of injury.
This award was given to the world's first ultra-thin, flexible display technology, based on phase change materials (PCM
) developed at the University of Oxford
. Phase change materials such as Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) can reversibly switch between two solid states, amorphous and crystalline
, in response to an electrically or optically induced stimulus. This switching is always associated with a change in the physical properties of the material (such as the refractive index). PCM have already played a key role in enabling data storage on inexpensive plastic substrates using optical pulses (e.g. CV, DVD, Blu-Ray).
In a new breakthrough, Prof Harish Bhaskaran and his postdoctoral researcher Dr Peiman Hosseini have demonstrated the key technology for ultra-high resolution displays using a 7nm thin film of phase change materials. This was the subject of a recent publication (Nature 511,206-211(10 July 2014)) and several patent applications. It is the first and only reported display device that utilizes the combination of both optical and electronic property modulation
, Inc. won this award for the commercial success of its flexible display in the consumer product line of Boogie Board eWriters. The pressure-sensitive LCD
writing surface has made them popular alternatives to memo pads, sticky notes, sketchbooks and other paper mediums for people of all ages. The Boogie Board Sync is the first model that incorporates a digitizer and Bluetooth technology to capture, store and transmit notes and images to connected computers and mobile devices.
The Boogie Board Sync debuted on Amazon.com
in December 2013 to much excitement. Since its launch, sales have steadily increased resulting in a sell-out of first year production. Retail placement has expanded to include online and mass retailers in Europe and Japan.
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