SEMI-FlexTech today announced the launch of six projects to accelerate sensor and sensor system innovations for new applications in industries including healthcare, automotive, industrial and defense. In collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, will provide more than $2.3 million in funding for the projects aimed at maturing the flexible-hybrid electronics (FHE) technology ecosystem. Organizations including the University of Texas El Paso, American Semiconductor, PARC, Tekscan, Alertgy and SAFI-Tech will lead the initiatives.
“Flexible hybrid electronics give product designers new ways to use sensors to collect data and deliver actionable insights that improve how we work and live,” said Melissa Grupen-Shemansky, CTO of SEMI and Executive Director of SEMI-FlexTech. “This new round of projects epitomizes the wide range of applications enabled by innovations in flexible hybrid electronics. We expect this body of work to unearth new product roadmaps across the electronics industry.”
American Semiconductor, Inc., will develop 500 FHE ultra-thin, lightweight and configurable sensor systems with wireless capability for environmental sensing applications. ASI will partner with Boise State University, DuPont, HD Microsystems and ITN Energy Systems on the 15-month project.
The University of Texas at El Paso will optimize structural and electrical performance and develop sculpted dielectrics for FHE 3D printing. The 12-month project will generate performance data and new algorithms for smarter 3D printing. A proof-of-concept, journal article and presentation will cap the project.
Tekscan will develop a functioning sensorized glove made of a durable resin with flexible-conductive and pressure-sensitive inks. The glove advances the state of the art for FHE pressure and force measurements and analysis, critical in design evaluation for automotive, consumer, packaging, robotics and medical devices. The 18-month project includes examinations of novel substrates and materials, hardware integration strategies, and manufacturing methods.
PARC, A Xerox Company, will integrate a flexible and adaptable multi-sensor system (consisting of temperature, humidity, impact and gas sensors) with a single processor for data capture and both wireless and audio output capabilities. The system will target applications in the wearables, medical monitoring, Internet of Things (IoT), automotive and industrial markets. PARC will partner with Purdue University in this 12-month project.
Alertgy will develop a curved, flexible and lightweight wrist-mounted FHE for non-invasive glucose monitoring. The wristband will incorporate electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), a transducer and a printed battery. The device interface will enable the integration of other sensors into its multipurpose design. A demonstration of the platform will culminate the 16-month project.
SAFI-Tech will develop and demonstrate screen-printed, supercooled liquid metal particles for use in electrical interconnects at low temperatures as a replacement for electrically conductive adhesives (ECAs). Lower temperatures in electronics manufacturing can reduce heat generation, processing costs and thermal damage to components while enabling higher throughput for devices in defense, automotive, healthcare and other industries. SAFI-Tech will partner with Iowa State University on the18-month project.