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2015


“Due to the emerging nature of our industry and the large percentage of small companies in the UK value chain, our EPSRC Centre has taken a novel approach to dissemination and outreach.� Chris Rider


Executive Summary

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The World of Large-Area Electronics

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About the EPSRC Centre

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Collaborating with the EPSRC Centre

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Technical Programme

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Welcome to this second annual report of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics.

Advanced Manufacturing Processes Theme

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Advanced Rheology for Printing Large-Area Electronics (ARPLAE)

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Meet Dr Philip Cooper

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Our focus in this second year of operation has been the development of the core project portfolio following the initial scoping phase for 3 of the projects, strengthening our project management processes, initiating the Pathfinder Project scheme to broaden our research base and launching a key element of our outreach and dissemination strategy – our annual conference, “Innovations in Large-Area Electronics” or innoLAE for short.

Patterning Strategies for Integration of Multifunctional Organic Materials (PASMOMA)

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Plastic Nanoelectronics by Adhesion Lithography (PLANALITH)

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Meet Dr Dimitra Georgiadou

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System Integration Theme

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Flexible Energy Harvesting for Low Power Mobile Devices (Flexipower)

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Meet Dr Tim Mortensen

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Meet Dr Vincenzo Pecunia

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Integration of Printed Electronics with Silicon for Smart Sensor Systems (iPESS)

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Meet Dr Ehsan Danesh

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This report provides an overview of our projects, our capabilities, our people, our plans and most importantly, it describes how you can engage with us as an academic or industrialist working in the same field. We invite you to partner with us as we play our part in facilitating the growth of an emerging industry.

Platform for High Speed Testing of Large-Area Electronic Systems (PHISTLES)

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Pathfinder Projects

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Offset Lithographic Printing of Nanocomposite Barium Titanate Capacitors (OPCAP)

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Printed Electronics for Neuromorphic Computing (pNeuron)

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Flexible Printed Energy Storage (FlexEn)

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Spray Coated Nanowires; Enhanced Stability for Touch Sensing and Solar Cell Applications (Stable Nanowires)

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Laser Annealing for Improved Flexible Electronics (LAFLEXEL)

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Chris Rider Director

Outreach and Networking

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Our People

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The Year Ahead

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How to Engage with the EPSRC Centre

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CONTENTS

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Executive Summary

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics has completed its second year of operation. This report provides an overview of our progress in the last year.

Our industry Large-Area Electronics (LAE) is, at heart, a new way of making electronics that offers benefits not just in the manufacturing process, but also in the final product where new form factors, design and integration options are enabled. We work with a wide range of the new electronic materials that are powering the LAE manufacturing revolution: organic and metal-oxide semiconductors, graphene and other forms of carbon and 2D materials, plastics, nano-particulate metals, etc. We build systems that include unpackaged and thin silicon to preserve thinness and flexibility. We are part of an emerging industry that is being led by hundreds of small innovative companies, many of whom started life in the UK as university spinouts from pioneering academic research groups. Increasingly, however, we are seeing engagement with much larger end-user companies who are starting to understand the potential benefits of incorporating LAE technology in their products.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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Establishing and growing our project portfolio

Outreach

The last year has seen the establishment and growth of our research project portfolio. All of our six core projects have now completed their initial scoping phase in which the details of the technology targets and the project plan were developed. To these core projects have been added two new collaborative industrial projects funded by Innovate UK and the EPSRC:

Due to the emerging nature of our industry and the large percentage of small companies in the UK value chain, our EPSRC Centre has taken a novel approach to dissemination and outreach.

• SECURE - Security tags Enabled by near field Communications United with Robust Electronics with FlexEnable Ltd and De La Rue PLC • haRFest with PragmatIC Printing Ltd and CPI Ltd relating to RF energy harvesting systems We have also completed our first “Pathfinder Project” call for small feasibility study proposals, from which the assessment panel funded five projects, each at around £50,000. These projects are aimed at tackling a key high-risk challenge in LAE that, if successful, could lead to something much bigger. The selected projects have as their themes: printable rechargeable batteries; transparent electrodes based on new materials and processes; printable circuits for neuromorphic computing; laser flash annealing as a process to reduce variability and increase mobility in metal oxide semiconductor films; a contactprintable capacitor incorporating a novel high-k dielectric layer as a component of security and energy harvesting applications. These five projects have strong synergy with our core portfolio and will open up new industrial applications for our technology. We are also delighted to welcome new academic collaborators from Bangor University and Nottingham Trent University to lead three of the five Pathfinder projects. We also welcome the 11 industrial collaborators who are supporting the projects.

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Recognising the need to bring together UK researchers and UK companies to build and strengthen LAE network, we saw an opportunity to fill a gap by providing an annual UK conference, Innovations in Large-Area Electronics (innoLAE), at which the latest academic research results and the most recent industrial innovations, in both product and process are presented. Our inaugural conference, innoLAE 2015, attended by 44 companies and described later in this report, was a sell-out (we closed registration at 150 delegates) and we have secured larger facilities for innoLAE 2016 for both the conference and exhibition spaces. To help potential end-user organisations visualise what LAE can achieve and so to promote market pull for the EPSRC Centre and UK value chain companies, we have initiated a project to produce a well engineered working demonstrator incorporating LAE technology from up to six UK companies and CPI, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. With generous support from the Department of Business for market development, we ran a competition project with 48 young product designers from Central Saint Martins (part of the University of the Arts London) to produce compelling demonstrator concepts incorporating the technology provided by the companies. We are now in the process of turning the best ideas into a working prototype.

EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Highlights ÂŁ2.4m of additional funding for the Centre universities has been leveraged by the EPSRC Centre, with a further ÂŁ1.4m funding for our industry partners 18 Industry partners are involved in 10 collaborative projects with the EPSRC Centre Over 40 presentations have been made by EPSRC Centre staff and researchers 18 research papers have been published by EPSRC Centre researchers 320 attendees at our events so far, more than half of whom (170) have been from industry Over 15,000 visits to the EPSRC Centre website to date, over 40% of which are from 126 different countries outside the UK Our Pathfinder call has introduced 9 new academics, 2 new universities and 15 industrial partners to the EPSRC Centre More than 450 people receive our newsletters (60% up on 2014) including 230 from industry The EPSRC Centre has a portfolio of 6 core projects: 5 Pathfinder feasibility projects, 4 Innovate UK funded collaborative projects, 2 projects funded from other sources

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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The World of Large-Area Electronics

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


What is Large-Area Electronics? Large-Area Electronics (LAE), including printed, plastic, organic and flexible electronics, is a new way of making electronics that: • is enabled by new materials that can be processed at low-temperatures; • enables the use of new manufacturing processes for electronics such as printing and digital fabrication; • enables products having new form factors, new cost structures and the potential for customisation. LAE approaches can produce devices that emit or reflect light in a controllable manner, for displays, lighting and smart windows; devices that transduce light for sensing and photovoltaic energy generation; devices that sense a variety of physical, chemical and biological parameters; transistor circuits, both analogue and digital; energy harvesting and storage devices in a variety of thin and flexible formats. Critically important is the interface between the silicon world and the LAE world so that electronic systems of the future can combine the power of silicon with the form factor and manufacturing benefits of LAE. These multi-functional smart systems will provide the engine of innovation for the new high-growth markets in healthcare, automotive, the Internet of Everything and wearables as electronics moves increasingly off the well-known rigid circuit board and onto textiles, packaging, glass, 3D product surfaces and even onto and into the human body. Typically requiring wireless operation, these smart systems incorporate radio communication capability often combined with on-board energy harvesting and storage.

Growth opportunities McKinsey reported in December 20141 that semiconductor executives who were surveyed in June 2014 as part of its quarterly poll of the components-manufacturing market said the Internet of Things will be the most important source of growth for them over the next several years— more important, for example, than trends in wireless computing or big data. For LAE, the Internet of Things also represents a significant growth opportunity, due to the requirement to move electronics onto a whole range of “Things” where new form factor and cost structure become enabling. This view is supported by global electronics companies. In the LAE sector, for example, we recently saw the major investment in UK company, PragmatIC Printing, by ARM as part of an investment round led by Cambridge Innovation Capital, announced under the title, “Strategic funding supports production of flexible integrated circuits for the Internet of Things”.

PragmatIC has been a pioneer in demonstrating the use of flexible circuit technology in sectors such as consumer goods, security printing and wearables working with companies like Procter and Gamble, De La Rue and Hallmark. The investment will enable PragmatIC to scale up its flexible circuit production technology to 100 million circuits per year. Another UK LAE company getting traction in its key commercial market is PolyPhotonix, using flexible OLED technology to generate light to treat retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). This new non-invasive approach could save the NHS up to £1B versus conventional treatments for DR and is currently undergoing clinical trials.

Why is Large-Area Electronics important for the UK? The UK has been a pioneer in the field of Organic and Printed Electronics for over 2 decades, from initial inventions in UK universities up to now as we are seeing the leading companies scaling up key materials and processes and new device forms are moving into pilot production and on towards volume manufacturing. As we have observed with the commercialisation of glass-based OLED displays for mobile phone applications, now a main-stream application, the journey has been longer than expected, but momentum is building and the UK is now home to many tens of world-class academic research groups able to support the science and innovation needs of an emergent industry in the UK. The UK has a broad range of companies active in LAE materials, processes and devices. It also has a very large electronic systems industry (see the ESCO report from September 20142) producing 5.4% of UK GDP and employing some 850,000 people. Innovation in the 4 key sectors identified in the ESCO report (Internet of Things, Healthcare, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Industrial Automation) will be critical to enable the UK to grow its economic activity in electronic systems. We see the smart integration of electronic systems combining LAE and silicon as one of the innovation drivers that will enable this to happen. In addition, the UK is home to many end-user companies operating in the packaging, security and consumer goods sectors. We are seeing increasing awareness among these end-users of the benefits of LAE and increasing engagement with the emergent UK value-chain. With a growing demand for the features and benefits of LAE and with the increasing maturity of the technology, we see a bright future for Large-Area Electronics in the UK.

McKinsey web article “The Internet of Things: Sizing up the opportunity” December 2014 by Harald Bauer, Mark Patel, and Jan Veira http://www.esco.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Published-ESCO-Annual-Report.pdf. Electronic Systems Challenges and Opportunities

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THE WORLD OF LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS

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About the EPSRC Centre

Mission: To tackle the technical challenges of multi-functional system integration of largearea electronics (LAE) in high growth industrial sectors through an innovative programme of manufacturing research, in a strong partnership with both industry and academia

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics was set up in October 2013 with funding of £5.6m over five years awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to address the challenges of scale-up and high-yield manufacture of Large-Area Electronics (LAE) systems incorporating multiple functional elements and improving key manufacturing processes for enhanced performance. We work with a wide range of companies who are pioneering this electronics manufacturing revolution and with end-users who see its commercial potential, helping to establish a vibrant new electronics systems manufacturing industry. We are one of 16 Centres for Innovative Manufacturing funded by the EPSRC as part of a novel approach to maximise the impact of innovative research for the UK, supporting existing industries, and more importantly, opening up new industries and markets in growth areas. Each centre has received five years of funding to retain staff, develop collaborations, carry out feasibility studies, and support research projects. Each centre has been co-created with business, with EPSRC support being used as a platform from which the centres have secured further investment from industry and other funders. The EPSRC Centre is a partnership between four UK academic Centres of Excellence in LAE at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge Innovation and Knowledge Centre, CIKC), Imperial College London (Centre for Plastic Electronics, CPE), Swansea University (Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, WCPC) and the University of Manchester (Organic Materials Innovation Centre, OMIC).

The objectives of the EPSRC Centre are to: • address the technical challenges of manufacturing multifunctional LAE systems; • develop a long-term research programme in advanced manufacturing processes aimed at ongoing reduction in manufacturing cost and improvement in system performance; • support the scale-up of technologies and processes developed in and with the EPSRC Centre by UK manufacturing industry; and • promote the adoption of LAE technologies by the wider UK electronics manufacturing industry.

ABOUT THE EPSRC CENTRE

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Collaborating with the EPSRC Centre

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


projects tailored to your needs, accessing available funding schemes.

How we work The EPSRC Centre funds core science and technology development from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 1 to 3 at the four Partner Universities: Cambridge, Manchester, Swansea and Imperial College London.

• Get early access to emerging research results. • Talk to us about the technology readiness of emerging academic research and let us help you to identify next steps to develop it for commercial use.

Core projects target key LAE manufacturing challenges in system integration and advanced manufacturing processes. Smaller Pathfinder projects enable the EPSRC Centre to fund feasibility projects at other leading academic groups in the UK. We also work with several Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs) to co-supervise PhD student research in LAE. Building on this research base, we collaborate with industry in higher TRL projects funded through public sources such as Innovate UK or Horizon 2020 to develop technology further or to facilitate technology transfer. We also work with industry on company-funded projects. A key downstream partner of the EPSRC Centre is CPI, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, with its scale-up capabilities in LAE.

• Leverage EPSRC funding to reduce your innovation risk. Talk to us about how our core project portfolio might benefit your business or what your unmet innovation needs in LAE might be. • Let us help you define and place a PhD studentship with access to broader EPSRC Centre facilities. • Get easy access to the resources at the 4 University Partners and other collaborating UK academic groups through one organisation.

How working with the EPSRC Centre benefits Academic groups • Join our community. Hear about the latest developments and publicise your own. Attend our events and meet other researchers working in the LAE field as well as industrial partners looking to be part of the LAE value chain.

Why collaborate with the EPSRC Centre? Our operations team members all have many years’ industrial experience in leading research and development teams, protecting intellectual property, setting up research collaborations and in providing technology for commercialisation. Our Investigator team bring together diverse expertise and facilities from the 4 largest academic groups in the field of Large-Area Electronics in the UK, covering materials (organic and inorganic), devices (light-emitting, photovoltaics, sensors, transistors, diodes etc) and processes (contact printing, non-contact digital deposition etc) of all types. Several were among the early pioneers in the field and many have experience of commercialisation through spinout companies. Our Investigator team members have close connections to six Centres for Doctoral Training.

• Submit a Pathfinder project proposal – these are small feasibility studies in aspects of LAE funded by the EPSRC Centre and open to any UK academic. There will be annual calls during the life of the EPSRC Centre. • Collaborate with us in research projects and partner with us in dissemination of LAE research results.

Collaborating with non-UK partners We welcome collaborative projects with academic and industrial partners from all over the world. Although our core EPSRC funding can only be spent at UK universities, we routinely utilise other funding mechanisms such as those available through Horizon 2020 (for European collaborations) and Innovate UK (for UK-based organisations) to enable other collaborations. We will also work on directly-funded projects with industry from any country.

How working with the EPSRC Centre benefits Industry • Accelerate knowledge transfer and partnership development by working with us in collaborative R&D

Industry funded Collaborative Projects Horizon 2020 funded Collaborative Projects Innovate UK Collaborative Projects Leveraged funding

PhD Studentships (Various) Pathfinder Projects Core Projects TRL

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Funded by EPSRC Centre grant 3

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COLLABORATING WITH THE EPSRC CENTRE

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Technical Programme

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


The EPSRC Centre’s technical programme is designed to deliver a coherent programme of research that will address industrial needs and provide the capabilities to meet the manufacturing requirements of early market opportunities for LAE systems. The programme is organised in two themes: System Integration and Advanced Manufacturing Processes. Within these themes the EPSRC Centre has set up a portfolio of six core projects and we are about to commence work on five Pathfinder projects. In addition, we have been involved with industry partners in four Innovate UK funded collaborative projects closely related to the core projects.

• Developing novel multi-functional materials systems and patterning processes for improved manufacturability.

Theme 2 System Integration The system integration (SI) theme addresses the need for multifunctional systems in a range of applications where a printing-based manufacturing makes economic sense. This theme will develop innovative, cost-effective processes for high-yield LAE system manufacture by approaching the task from first principles, considering and co-optimising all aspects including system design, materials selection, process development and testing. • Developing innovative approaches to multifunctional system manufacture of large-area electronics using processes that minimise cost.

Theme 1 Advanced Manufacturing Processes The advanced manufacturing processes (AMP) theme is investigating concepts for high-resolution high-yielding, high-volume methods to increase functional device performance and reduce cost.

• Reducing the cost of system integration by developing a Design for Manufacture approach which co-optimises yield and performance. • Developing novel approaches to high-throughput functional testing.

• Developing high resolution patterning processes for higher device and system performance.

Adhesion lithography

Printed re-chargeable batteries

Printed capacitors

Energy harvesting Sub-system

Contactprinted

Topology defined patterning

Printed antennas

High-speed printed diodes

Multi-sensor sub-system

Customisable

Advanced rheology

Printed FET gas sensors

Solution processed analogue electronics

Neuromorphic computing circuits

LAE + Silicon

Laser annealing

Transparent electrodes

Device Processes and Components Manufacturing Processes & Supporting Science

High-speed testing

Testing Methods

Sub-Systems

System Integration Demonstrators

TECHNICAL PROGRAMME

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ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEME RHODRI WILLIAMS JAMES CLAYPOLE TIM CLAYPOLE DANIEL CURTIS DAVID GETHIN

Project objectives • a radically improved understanding of functional ink formulation and its interaction with the image carrier and substrate to optimise performance for high resolution printing; • the development of scientifically rigorous techniques for characterisation of the critical rheological properties of fluids in high deformation rate shear and extensional flows in order to achieve optimal performance; and • the establishment of performance metric(s) based on the first two objectives.

Advanced Rheology for Printing Large-Area Electronics (ARPLAE)

This project addresses fundamental rheological challenges to achieving high-resolution features in the production of functional inks in high-yield contact printing processes. Such ink systems typically include additives in the form of polymers, colloidal particles etc, which are required to achieve functional performance, however the complexity of the resulting fluid rheology is a barrier both to their characterisation and to adequate predictions of their performance in industrial process flows. Improved understanding of the rheological aspects of these processes and materials is required to establish a rigorous basis for their better prediction and control. Methods of fluid characterisation capable of replicating industrially relevant rates of deformation, deformation amplitudes and timescales are largely inaccessible to industry at present. The ARPLAE project is developing advanced rheological techniques and characterisation processes which have been employed successfully in other areas e.g. in rheological aspects of high speed machine lubrication. These techniques are presently focussing on the exploitation of superposition flow rheometry in which small amplitude oscillatory flows are used to probe fluid microstructural responses to imposed, process-relevant large amplitude shear flows. A unique feature of the techniques being developed under ARPLAE is that the oscillatory flows involved utilise multiple, simultaneous test frequencies, over a wide range, to effect the requisite characterisation of fluid responses in far shorter times and with far greater resolution than has previously been possible. By measuring the rheology of functional inks using state-of-the-art characterisation tools and by understanding the effect of rheology on physical processes such as cavitation that occur during printing, the data for a predictive model will be obtained to enable ink rheology to be optimised for improved quality and yield in printing. The project seeks to define a measure of functional ink characteristics which can be incorporated in the development of better performing fluids and in improved methods of predicting the consequences of changes in ink formulation. The initial phase of the ARPLAE project involved a scoping study which identified target functional inks and print processes where performance improvements will have highly significant commercially benefits. The project has a special focus on gravure printing due to its suitability for the production of qualitysensitive layers like organic semiconductors and semiconductor/dielectricinterfaces in transistors. The initial phase of the project has demonstrated that the new rheometry being developed under ARPLAE provides a successful new basis for predicting the outcomes of an industrial print process in terms of a product performance metric – with significantly improved outcome over established techniques in terms of relating changes in product formulation to product functional performance. The next phase of ARPLAE, now underway, is building on these exciting findings with a range of industrial partners and further rheometric advances are being explored.

Example of printed sheet using a silver conductive ink. The image shows the different areas that can be used for the printing metric.

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Meet

Dr Philip Cooper Dr Philip Cooper joined the EPSRC Centre in February 2015 after retiring from De La Rue International following 14 years service in research. Philip has worked in various research roles for over 40 years in many diverse industries and has wide experience in designing research projects for mass production. He has degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from London University and a PhD in Transducer Design from Exeter University. While at De La Rue, Philip had a number of research roles from Technology Applications Manager to the Head of Research developing security product concepts for the next decade. Prior to De La Rue, Philip championed innovation in his roles in electrical machines, magnetic metals, automotive, textiles and defence. At Exeter University he helped innovate, design and instigate manufacture of a Tactile Aid for the profoundly deaf. Philip has been a champion within De La Rue for the benefits of Large-Area Electronics and initiated research into printable semi-conductors and energy harvesting systems. He has presented seminal work on printed electronics at many major conferences and is widely published in the field.

I was excited to join the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing for Large-Area Electronics to contribute my industrial experience to help achieve the EPSRC Centre’s objectives. I firmly believe that the task undertaken by this EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing is significant in taking the emerging industry for Large-Area Electronics (LAE) one step nearer realisation and I welcome the challenge this brings. My varied industrial and academic experience in a diverse range of market sectors - from medical devices and automotive to defence and to electrical and electronic device manufacturing has provided me with a clear perspective of not only what it takes to make ideas work, but also what is needed to make them a commercial success. My role at the EPSRC Centre allows me to engage with project teams at the four partner Universities and to provide guidance and advice based on my industrial experience to help steer projects toward the path of commercial success. I believe that

the key to success for any project is to recognise what needs to be done to open the door to industrial exploitation at an early stage of innovation development. While working with the ARPLAE project team at Swansea, we’ve been able to link the development of an exciting new rheology measurement technique to industrial printing characteristics, thus paving the way to achieving more precise deposition of electronic device layers. Together with the Flexipower team, I’ve been investigating tuneable broadband energy harvesting to enable efficient power sources for novel electronic systems produced for very high volume markets. I have also been engaging with the PLANALITH team at Imperial. Their research promises a highly innovative approach for the manufacturing of high performance devices over large areas. I am thrilled to be a part of the EPSRC Centre team and to have the opportunity of working with bright, young researchers and help them succeed in their projects.

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEME

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ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEME NATALIE STINGELIN IOAN BOTIZ DONAL BRADLEY PHILIP BRIDGES JAIME MARTIN PAUL STAVRINOU

Project objectives • to pattern surface relief/ energy structures using nonlithographic processes • to realise selectivity of particle deposition based on relief structure size • to deposit different materials (dielectrics, conductors, semiconductors) at predefined positions

Patterning Strategies for Integration of Multifunctional Organic Materials (PASMOMA) The motivation for the PASMOMA project is to provide a materials technology for simple, robust processing of multiple sensors, multifunctional arrays or self-assembled complementary structures at high yield without the use of conventional lithographic processes and to realise manufacturing benefits through use of self-assembly and novel multifunctional materials to save process steps. Using well-defined surface structures produced e.g. by embossing and moulding, we will achieve the deposition of microdispersions of functional materials, including organic semiconductors, light-emitters, dielectrics or conductors, at predefined locations without the need for lithography. The project uses a concept labelled “nano-pinballing” where a surface layer embossed (or moulded) with a relief pattern is coated with a microemulsion of a functional material with a well-defined particle size.

Surface structured polymer thin film

Micro/nano particles

• to gain precise size control of particles in semiconductor microdispersion

Envisioned patterned surface relief structures being exploited to guide the assembly of functional nanoparticles

Key achievements of this reporting period 1. Establishment of Convective Self-Assembly (CSA for “nano-pinballing” functional colloid dispersions (colloidal nanoparticles, NPs) onto surface-patterned substrates. Pinballing Process: • Controlled pinballing with model systems (polystyrene NPs of various diameters) was achieved into channels of 200 nm to 2.75 μm width over areas ≥ 5x5 mm2 • 100 % filling for NPs of ø = 209, 400, 500, 600 and 720 nm was realised; while larger NPs (of ø = 2 μm) lead to 90 – 95 % filling

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


• Use of NPs of ø > 500 nm leads to an ordered arrangement of them; while smaller NPs (∅ø ≤ 500 nm) randomly arrange in the surface structures. • Dense filling of trenches are in general observed; however, defects can occur at embossing defects, especially when NPs are larger and where the groove seemed not to have been plasma treated, indicating the importance of the embossing quality and the relief pattern’s surface energy • Establishment of metrology that allows analysis of produced patterns Materials: • PS, SiO2, PFO-based and Au NPs were successfully pinballed using CSA

Schematic of the Convective Self-Assembly Process adapted for the ‘nano-/micropinballing’

2. Realisation of patterned “pinballing” i.e. deposition of particles only into specific grooves. • Filling only achieved when casting direction is parallel to groove direction (if NPs of ø = 2 μm are used) • Filling can be prevented by not plasma-treating of a specific area

Insulators, oxides and conductors can be ‘pinballed’ with CSA over 5 x 5 mm2. Left: 720 nm polystyrene NPs in 2.75 μm channels. Middle: 400 nm SiO2 NPs in 2.75 μm channels. Right/top: 200 nm Au NPs in 2.75 μm channels. Right/bottom: Our pinballing process leads to dense packing of the NPs.

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEME

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ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEME THOMAS ANTHOPOULOS DIMITRA GEORGIADOU

Project objectives • high speed rectifying diodes based on co-planar nanogap electrodes fabricated using adhesion lithography • a semi automated system for adhesion lithography to assess the scalability of the a-Lith process

Plastic Nanoelectronics by Adhesion Lithography (PLANALITH) The level of performance of the majority of electronic devices is governed by two key parameters: (i) the properties of the electro-active materials employed and (ii) key device dimension(s). For instance, in the case of a printed thin-film transistor (TFT), the current-driving capability of the device is primarily determined by the charge carrier mobility of the semiconductor and the transistor channel dimensions namely channel length and width. In the case of printed rectifying diodes, such as Schottky diodes, the maximum rectification frequency attainable is determined by the charge carrier mobility of the semiconductor and the thickness of the active layer, as well as the active area of the device. Although much effort in recent years has been focused on the development of novel materials with improved electronic properties, relatively little progress has been achieved in developing alternative patterning techniques that combine extreme downscaling of key device dimensions with high manufacturing throughput and yield. Laterally aligned asymmetric metal electrodes with nanometre-scale separation and ultra-high aspect ratio (>1,000,000) offer unique advantages for application in co-planar rectifying diodes few of which include reduced parasitic capacitance and potentially ultra-low reverse currents. Existing fabrication routes for these structures, e.g. electron-beam lithography, oblique-angle shadow-evaporation etc, suffer from extremely low throughput, poor scalability to larger substrate sizes, complex multi-step processing protocols, and/or high equipment costs. In the PLANALITH project, we are exploring the use of a novel patterning technique, namely adhesion lithography (a-Lith) to develop electronic devices based on ultra-high aspect ratio asymmetric metal electrode nanogaps (i.e. inter-electrode distance <50 nm). Over the past six months, research effort focused on the development of a semi-automated a-Lith system. The latter represents a key milestone for the PLANALITH project as it will enable the scalable manufacturing of devices on arbitrary substrate materials with size larger than 10 cm x 10 cm. In parallel to this activity, we have been exploring the use of nanogap electrode structures for the development of radio frequency (RF) diodes. Key developments include the realisation of RF diodes based on solution-processed n-type zinc oxide (ZnO) as the semiconductor, as well as numerous other inorganic and organic p-type semiconductors. In spite the early stage of the project, RF diodes capable of operating at frequencies well over the critical band of 13.56 MHz have been demonstrated making the a-Lith a much promising method for the development of future generation near field communication (NFC) and energy harvesting systems.

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Meet

Dr Dimitra Georgiadou Dimitra obtained a Master’s Degree in Advanced Materials Science from the Technical University of Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich and the University of Augsburg. She then continued on with a PhD in Photochemistry/ Organic Electronics from the National Technical University of Athens. Dimitra is currently working on the PLANALITH project under the supervision of Professor Thomas Anthopoulos in the Experimental Solid State Physics group at the Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London. Dimitra’s research interests range from the photochemical tuning of emission colour of fluorescent and phosphorescent emitters for application in PLEDs to the study of different organic and inorganic materials that can be used as interfacial layers in PLEDs and organic photovoltaics, whereas she has also performed synthesis of mesoporous nanocrystalline TiO2 for application in dye sensitized solar cells. She is co-author of over 35 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dimitra has also gained industrial experience through internships at Procter & Gamble, Italy, and Schreiner Group, Germany.

I have been working on the PLANALITH project since March 2015. Within these first months I have already been given numerous opportunities to both make significant advancements in my project’s objectives, as well as develop my personal skill set. PLANALITH is about adhesion lithography, a novel patterning technique allowing the simple but not simplistic and yet efficient, high-yield manufacturing of large aspect ratio (>100,000) metal electrode nanogaps. This innovative method of depositing two different metals at distances shorter than 50 nm from each other, if combined with the proper active materials selection, may give rise to a plethora of nanoscale optoelectronic devices, such as rectifying diodes, ultra-fast photodetectors and bright nano-LEDs, just to name a few, that will pave the way for the electronic devices of the future. My major responsibility within this project is to develop a semi-automated system that will control the key step of the nanogap formation, namely the peel-off of the adhesive material (i.e. glue or adhesive tape) from the metal surface, which will ultimately determine the quality of the nanogap. Apart from this purely engineering task, my research is focused on the development of rectifying diodes showing high-frequency (>13.57 MHz) rectification, rendering such devices extremely attractive for wireless nearfield communication (NFC) applications spanning from RFID tags to Bluetooth. What I particularly like about this project is that it allows me to envisage the shape of things to come (e.g. Internet of Things) and I can have a piece of the action through my current

work. I truly enjoy working at the interface of fundamental research, including the astute selection of functional materials and formation of high-performing devices at the nanogaps, and industrial exploitation en route from validation in the lab to demonstration of proof-of-concept in an industrially relevant environment. It is exciting to think that what started as a “fiddling-around” with various tapes available in the lab will evolve into a PC-controlled system that will be able to fabricate nanogap structures with high throughput in a fully controllable and optimised way. From a more subjective perspective, I find it extremely motivating to work in a multidisciplinary group, to be granted access to the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment of Imperial College, to have a sum of financial resources at my disposal thanks to the EPSRC grant and, most importantly, to experience excellent communication with my colleagues and my supervisor. I also find the engagement of Dr Philip Cooper, who has vast industry experience, with our team highly valuable. Phil has been able to closely follow the progress of the project and provide us with feedback and advice with regard to the potential future uptake of this technology by a UK electronics manufacturing industry. My goals for the next months are to continue performing top-notch research, networking with academic and industrial partners, sharpening of skills such as project management and supervision of students’ projects, and widening of my scientific knowledge and technical competences. And last but not least, peeling-off the nanogap is always great fun!

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING PROCESSES THEME

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SYSTEM INTEGRATION THEME

TIM CLAYPOLE DAVID GETHIN TIM MORTENSEN

Project objectives • to develop architectures and processes to print RF energy harvesting components • to develop high-volume processes to integrate these components into a thin flexible system to enable low-cost manufacturing

Flexible Energy Harvesting for Low Power Mobile Devices (Flexipower) Many high-volume applications of large-area electronics require local sources of energy in the same form-factor and at a suitable price. Currently coin cell batteries are frequently used and whilst these are highly cost-effective, they are relatively thick and rigid. Our vision is that printed or part-printed energy harvesting systems can be designed to enable the use of very high-volume production processes and to reach price-points that facilitate the deployment of simple wireless electronic systems in many markets by eliminating the need for primary batteries. As a low cost energy source, the harvesting of radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic energy is a prime candidate. Removing the need for placement in direct sunlight or complicated mechanical designs, an RF energy harvesting system can be placed near a source of electromagnetic energy and convert that signal into a DC voltage. The Flexipower project aims to develop architectures and processes to enable printing of RF energy harvesting components as a route to low-cost manufacture and develop high-volume processes for their integration into a thin, flexible system. The development of a low cost power supply such as this will open the door to devices in a range of applications from wearable sensors to building monitoring. The project is led by the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating which has the expertise and infrastructure to enable the demonstration of the manufacturing of printed devices that can be scaled to very high volume – up to hundreds of millions. There are strong synergies between Flexipower and haRFest, an Innovate UK-funded project involving Swansea and Cambridge Universities along with CPI Ltd and PragmatIC Printing Ltd.

Antenna

Rectifying circuit

Voltage multiplier

Voltage limiter

Energy Storage element

Output device

Building blocks of an RF energy harvesting system

The goal of Flexipower is to produce a platform for printed, wirelessly-powered devices. The system will convert radio frequency energy into AC electrical signals and feature a broadband rectifying stage to convert the AC voltage to DC to power a range of devices. The rectifying stage will accept frequencies in the range 10-900 MHz (or higher, if possible) allowing great flexibility and the potential to operate over larger distances than many current systems. In many circumstances, it may be cost-effective to combine silicon-based electronics with printed circuitry to meet the application requirements for a complete energy harvesting system. In order to understand the requirements for RF energy harvesting systems, the project commenced with a scoping phase which included a review of the status of existing technologies and market opportunities, as well as a survey of potential users. This provided an interesting insight into the needs of users and has allowed target specifications to be identified. The next stage of the work to develop the high speed diodes and printed antennas to be used in the project is now underway.

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Meet

Dr Tim Mortensen Tim obtained an MPhys degree from Swansea University in 2009 and completed his EPSRC funded PhD on the “Manipulation of the magnetron orbits of particles and clouds in a two stage buffer gas accumulator” at the same institution in 2013. During his research with antimatter systems at Swansea and later in Saclay, Paris, he not only gathered and analysed experimental data, but designed and built a range of bespoke hardware and software solutions to facilitate simplified data acquisition and analysis. Upon his return to the UK in mid-2014, Tim was offered a role on a project in the field of printed electronics at the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) to create a low cost printed pressure sensor. The project far exceeded its expectations, the technology behind the sensor has been patented and is in the process of being commercialised by industrial partners of the university. He now works on the FLEXIPOWER project developing printed wireless energy harvesting systems.

From having originally started my research career with the backing of the EPSRC developing novel techniques for trapping positrons, to now, once again, be working on an EPSRC project in the field of printed electronics is an eye opener to the wide ranging high quality research that is enabled thanks to their funding. Experiments to help uncover fundamental laws of the universe, performing detailed measurements of the properties of antimatter, are being funded by the same body investing in the wide range of technologies required to facilitate the production of printed electronic devices. My recent work, as part of the ambitious Flexipower project, seeks to produce ultralow cost wirelessly powered devices using printed electronics techniques. Wireless power is by no means new and is increasingly being found in the hands of everyday consumers through household items such as electric toothbrushes and mobile phones. However, the relatively new field of printed electronics can’t simply reuse these same designs because many of the required components simply don’t exist. Development of new components analogous to their traditional electronics counterparts is required and this early stage research forms the heart of the Flexipower project. These components will be developed and tested and will then form a complete prototype wireless energy harvesting system, which could ultimately become part of future commercial products.

As the capabilities of printed electronics increases there will be a range of applications where ultralow cost devices can be used in place of traditional electronics, however, if these technologies are still reliant on traditional batteries their flexibility will be reduced and the battery will likely be a significant proportion of the total device cost. Additionally, there are a number of environmental concerns with the production and proper disposal of batteries that will become more apparent as the number of batteries used by Internet of Things (IoT) and other smart devices increases rapidly in the coming years. The use of wireless energy harvesting allows a low cost, printable alternative to traditional batteries and will enable a large number of new technologies that were either too expensive or too bulky to be made with standard electronics. Uses for the technology are many and varied, from disposable bandages which can monitor the status of a wound and inform the user of early signs of infection, to smart packaging which can inform the shopper that the product is genuine and intact. The truth is however, the best uses for this technology are likely things we simply can’t imagine yet. As with most radical new technologies, creating a cheap and capable platform often results in new uses that are completely unexpected. I look forward to seeing how people use this technology in the future and anticipate being pleasantly surprised.

SYSTEM INTEGRATION THEME

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Meet

Dr Vincenzo Pecunia Dr Vincenzo Pecunia completed his BSc and MSc in Electronics Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He then carried out his doctoral work on organic electronics under the supervision of Professor Henning Sirringhaus at the University of Cambridge. He is currently working on the EPSRC Centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iPESS project at the Optoelectronics Group of the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. His research interests include solution-based organic, metal-oxide and hybrid transistors, and process integration for flexible and printed electronics.

When presented with the opportunity to join the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in LargeArea Electronics, I was enthused by its ambitious plan to establish large-area electronics (LAE) as a core research domain for manufacturing innovation in the UK. LAE has formidable potential to redefine the way electronics is conceived and produced. Moreover, by capitalising on the wealth of fundamental and applied knowledge developed in research laboratories across the country, LAE bears the promise of generating added value for small and medium enterprises in the UK. Over the past year as a researcher at the EPSRC Centre, I have been working on the iPESS project, aiming at the realization of a hybrid platform for smart sensor systems. In particular, my focus has been the development of an integration scheme for the fabrication of an analogue frontend. In tune with the spirit of the EPSRC Centre, the project gives emphasis to manufacturability and large-area integration. The electronic materials of choice are thus solution-based, patterned additively, and compatible with low-cost plastic substrates. One aspect I have enjoyed greatly as a researcher at the EPSRC Centre is the possibility of exchanging ideas with other researchers and industrial

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partners active in the field of LAE. The project supervision by Professor Sirringhaus at Cambridge and the close collaboration with Professor Turnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s group at the University of Manchester have provided invaluable insight and perspective. Moreover, the involvement of Plastic Electronics Limited has been fundamental for the adoption of state-of-the-art printing methods into the iPESS project. Praiseworthy is also the first Innovations in Large-Area Electronics conference, which allowed UK researchers and companies to come together and share the latest results and directions of interest. I am thus convinced that the ambitions of the EPSRC Centre have found their preliminary fulfilment in the successful linking of a variety of research fields and in the bridging of industry and academia. Large-area electronics will not happen overnight. I believe that the challenges lie not only at a fundamental level, in the harnessing of functional materials into electronic systems, but also in achieving system functionality with approaches that are easily manufacturable. The EPSRC Centre has a clear vision of both, and the understanding that a synergistic attitude is essential to overcome them. This is why working at the EPSRC Centre as a researcher has been fascinating and exciting so far, and I definitely look forward to more.

EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


SYSTEM INTEGRATION THEME

HENNING SIRRINGHAUS ATEFEH AMIN EHSAN DANESH VINCENZO PECUNIA KRISHNA PERSAUD DANIEL TATE MIKE TURNER STEPHEN YEATES

Project objectives • an array of printed field-effect transistor (FET) sensors with high chemical specificity, initially for gas sensing applications (lead partner: University of Manchester) • a printed electronics analogue frontend that provides adequate signal amplification and signal conditioning for the sensor signal to be

Integration of Printed Electronics with Silicon for Smart Sensor Systems (iPESS) Low cost smart integrated sensors are an important element of emerging technology trends, such as the Internet of Things, wearable electronics or personal health monitoring. They are needed to record vital physical, chemical or biological signals and parameters and have to be integrated into a broad range of environments ranging from buildings to human bodies with full internet connectivity. The vision of the iPESS project is that these sensors are best realised using a hybrid technology approach, combining commercial small-size silicon microelectronic chips for complex data processing and communication tasks with printed electronic components for the sensors and the signal conditioning of the sensor outputs. This is particularly appropriate for applications where multiple sensors that can’t be easily miniaturized are distributed over a relatively large substrate area. Our approach aims to realize such smart sensors in new mechanically flexible form factors and at low cost. The iPESS project is developing the key building blocks for such hybrid sensors. Our overall ambition is to be able to integrate the printed sensors with the analogue front end to develop a cost-effective integration platform for integrated sensor systems. Although our focus in the iPESS project is on gas sensors, the technology is applicable to a broad range of sensors and sensor arrays, including physical or biological sensors, and we welcome engagement with partners interested in a broad range of sensing applications. In the past year, the project team in Manchester has developed a digital printing process for the fabrication of arrays of low-voltage organic FET sensors operating at voltages of <5V on a plastic substrate (Figure a). Chemical specificity will be achieved through the combination of different organic semiconductors on the array, each of which with a distinct response to the gaseous analyte to be detected. For the integration of different semiconductor materials onto the array we are using printing techniques. The Cambridge team has focussed on developing an integration process for a printed analogue amplifier on a flexible substrate. To achieve a sufficient amplifier gain, we are combining high mobility p-type organic FETs with n-type, solution-processed oxide TFTs into complementary circuits (Figure b and c). For this we have developed a simple fabrication process for integrating these different materials onto a common plastic substrate.

Figure a

Figure b

Figure c

Transistor device characteristics for printed sensors and analogue circuits: (a) characteristics of low-voltage printed FET sensor; characteristics of p-type organic; (b) and n-type oxide TFT (c) for integration into analogue amplifiers.

SYSTEM INTEGRATION THEME

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Meet

Dr Ehsan Danesh

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Dr Ehsan Danesh received an MSc degree in Polymer Engineering from the Tehran Polytechnic in 2008. He then spent two years as an R&D researcher in the field of specialty polymers for food and dairy packaging industries. In 2011, he was awarded with the Marie Curie Actions fellowship, and joined Professor Krishna Persaud’s research group at the School of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science at the University of Manchester, to work on the FlexSmell project. Funded under FP7, the FlexSmell project aimed at the design and realisation of printed chemical sensing RFID tags for smart food packaging. His PhD thesis focused on the development of novel conducting polymer-based gas sensors on plastic substrates. Ehsan is currently working on the EPSRC Centre’s iPESS project under the supervision of Professor Michael Turner at the Organic Materials Innovation Centre (OMIC) in Manchester.

I joined the EPSRC Centre in March 2014 after finishing my PhD at the University of Manchester, and I’m currently engaged with the OMIC in the iPESS project. My core responsibility is to explore the use of novel materials and printing techniques for the development of OFET devices for gas sensing applications. The nature of the job requires that I work with instruments such as the Fujifilm Dimatix inkjet printer, the SIJ super-fine inkjet printer and the Microdrop dispenser to pattern functional materials on a variety of plastic substrates. Apart from the commercial inks (such as conductive silver inks), I also investigate the printability of various materials, such as high-k dielectrics and polymeric semiconductors. This challenging role has allowed me to develop expertise in key areas of printed electronics which is my favourite field of research. I feel that the EPSRC Centre values my skills and provides the resources to pursue my own research ideas to an extent. This is of crucial importance to early-stage researchers like me who strive to turn creativity to reality.

Ehsan has received several awards, including the Wolfgang Göpel memorial award from the International Society for Olfaction and Chemical Sensing in 2013. His research interests include organic electronics, inkjet printing of functional materials, conducting polymers and nanocomposites, and (bio)chemical sensors.

I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with an exceptionally talented group from multiple internationally wellknown institutes within the EPSRC Centre on this cross-disciplinary project. Throughout my work as a postdoctoral research associate, I’ve gained not only technical proficiency but also a great deal of project management and leadership skills which have aided in my career development. For instance, I had the chance to help in organising the EPSRC Centre’s Researcher cohort meeting in Manchester and the innoLAE 2015 conference in Cambridge. Such events also helped me to improve my communication skills

and establish links with people from academia and industry, both within and outside the EPSRC Centre. I believe the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics is a national centre with a worldwide impact. The fundamental research on largearea electronics that is going on within different projects in the EPSRC Centre creates a technological platform that eventually results in the reduction of manufacturing costs and enhancement in system performance. The emergence of wearable electronics in the form of smart watches and e-skin is only one example showing the potential markets that can benefit from the impact of EPSRC Centre’s output. And that’s actually one of the main things that attracted me to the job at hand: I can look beyond academia and see the end target, the final application. Over the past months, the research in our project has developed to the practical experimentation and refinement stage; but we still need to address some critical challenges. We hope to achieve our final goals in upcoming months, and that’s certainly achievable with the combination of hard work, ambition and expertise that is unique to our research team. However, let’s not forget that one of the main objectives of the EPSRC Centre is to develop a long-term research programme to advance manufacturing processes in the UK electronics manufacturing industry. Therefore, I strongly encourage young scientists interested in organic and printed electronics to join our centre and experience an intellectually challenging environment, while being able to make an immediate impact and contribution.

EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


SYSTEM INTEGRATION THEME

ANDREW FLEWITT ABHISHEK KUMAR KHAM NIANG

Project objectives • to develop a model for costeffective electrical testing of large-area electronics during roll-to-roll manufacture; • to develop a library of techniques that can offer a step change in the cost and time for testing large-area electronics; and • to show how these could be integrated into a generic measurement platform which itself could be included in a production line.

Platform for High Speed Testing of Large-Area Electronic Systems (PHISTLES) 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. The demands of testing sheet substrates with devices fabricated using high cost photolithographic pattering is very different to that of roll-to-roll manufacture using low cost print-based patterning. Firstly, the cost of test must be a fraction of the cost of manufacture despite the latter being very much lower for roll-to-roll printing manufacture. Secondly, the high speed that printing systems can achieve mean that ~100 devices per second can be produced which must all be tested. Thirdly, printing takes place over very large areas, meaning that 1 m2 of devices can be produced by a single machine per second. These are the quantitative metrics for test that the PHISTLES project is targeting. We have been working on developing ‘Simultaneous Multiple Device Testing’ (SMuDT) as a method for addressing these three issues. At its heart is the philosophy that individual measurement of all devices being produced should not be attempted as it will be too slow and costly for many situations. Instead, groups of units are measured simultaneously using a small number of electrical contact points to determine if any of the units within the group have failed, and then to either throw away an entire block if there is a failed device inside or to only carry out individual device testing inside groups with a known failed device depending on yield and cost. This requires the addition of test circuitry which is disabled by later singulation of the devices when they come off the production roll. We have surveyed our industry partners and based on this we are focussing on demonstrating this technique in three device scenarios: thin film transistor (TFT) digital logic, photovoltaics and RF antennas. We have made the greatest advance with the testing of TFT logic. We have shown that, by connecting devices to form ring oscillators, we can identify groups of logic gates where one device has failed whist increasing measurement speed and reducing measurement cost by an order of magnitude compared with existing non-SMuDT methods. In addition, by using figures of merit for device performance, we can also bin devices into different categories according to performance, as shown in the diagram. This might allow additional value to be extracted from devices that exceed some threshold from production. We have been developing a library of testing scenarios and believe that the generic SMuDT approach can be applied to a diversity of devices and we continue to demonstrate this to test case studies. We are working on one such study through an Innovate UK-funded collaborative project (haRFest) in the field of RF anntennas.

Results from the testing of blocks of TFT logic devices made into ring oscillators which then allows binning by performance.

SYSTEM INTEGRATION THEME

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Pathfinder Projects

Objectives of the Pathfinder projects • to broaden the EPSRC Centre’s research portfolio, increase the number of its collaborators and promote technology transfer to and collaboration with industry • to pump prime new research collaborations and facilitate larger scale collaborative projects leading to significant new funding involving the EPSRC Centre

One of the key aims of the EPSRC Centre is to develop national capability and establish a network of academic and industrial communities active in large-area electronics innovation. This year we initiated a call for Pathfinder projects to help grow this network and its capabilities and broaden the EPSRC’s research portfolio. Pathfinder projects last no more than six months with a budget of £50,000 and are intended to develop a proposal for a significant new research programme in LAE manufacturing or facilitate industry collaboration by establishing the technical feasibility of an ambitious new concept. Project activity is expected to lead to significant new funding involving the EPSRC Centre and to attract industrial support. In this first call five projects were funded, introducing nine new academics to the EPSRC Centre programme, two new universities and 15 industrial partners. The projects all start work in September or October 2015.

PATHFINDER PROJECTS

BOB STEVENS NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY PARTNERS NANO PRODUCTS LTD NOVACENTRIX INC PROMETHEAN PARTICLES LTD BOWATER INDUSTRIES LTD

Offset Lithographic Printing of Nanocomposite Barium Titanate Capacitors (OPCAP) SMART labels have the ability to sense and measure their local environment and wirelessly send measurements to a receiver such as a mobile phone or RFID reader. They need a number of discrete components, in addition to the silicon integrated circuits, to create electronic systems which function correctly. In general, the discretes are passive components such as resistors, capacitors and inductors. Our new manufacturing approach for SMART labels is to use offset lithographic printing rather than flexographic, gravure or screen printing. All of the SMART label products require placement of discrete packaged capacitors. This is not technically difficult with the latest assembly systems, but having to place individual capacitors on each label reduces throughput and yield, increases manufacturing costs and increases the capital investment needed to meet market demand and production targets. OPCAP will remove the need for many, if not all, of the discrete capacitors. This will be achieved by offset lithographic printing of parallel plate capacitors onto the same flexible plastic substrate which makes up the label. We propose to investigate a new nanoparticle loaded ink made from barium titanate nanoparticles. To maximise the capacitance per unit area, photonic sintering, a low temperature technique using intense flashes of light, will be investigated to remove polymers in the ink, fuse particles together, densify the dielectric layer and crystallise the BaTiO3 nanoparticles.

Photo courtesy of Nano Products

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


PATHFINDER PROJECTS

PIOTR DUDEK MIKE TURNER LESZEK MAJEWSKI JAYAWAN WIJEKOON UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER PARTNER NEUDRIVE LTD

Printed Electronics for Neuromorphic Computing (pNeuron) Some of the most challenging issues in printable large area electronics are related to the reliability, variability and relatively low speed of individual devices, which make it difficult to implement more complex functionality, especially analogue signal processing circuits. Remarkably, biological systems have evolved solutions to these problems: neurons are slow, highly variable, volatile, and yet brains have an amazing ability to achieve robust operation and process information at high speed and with low power consumption. Hence a question arises: can circuits based on neural principles be able to provide useable solutions to coping with device issues in large area electronics? Conversely, as the interest in brain-inspired systems continues to grow, with potential applications ranging from machine intelligence to brain interfacing and prosthesis, one of the challenges is to find suitable implementation technologies for the ‘neuromorphic’ (i.e. brain-mimicking) systems. These are usually implemented using conventional silicon integrated circuits; however, these have been optimised for high-speed numerical computation, and are not necessarily a most natural fit. Perhaps low-cost large-area printed electronics, with its inherently more “neuron-like” devices, could provide an ideal alternative technology for implementing such systems?

Photo courtesy of Ronny R (Flickr)

PATHFINDER PROJECTS PRITESH HIRALAL GEHAN AMARATUNGA UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

We will start to explore these questions in this project. Our goal is to demonstrate spiking neuron circuits, mimicking biological behaviour, using printed electronics technology. These initial proof-of-concept experiments will prepare the ground for future research, including larger collaborative research proposals.

Flexible Printed Energy Storage (FlexEn) Thin and flexible printed energy storage devices that complement many of the large area printed electronics developments today, have been a growing necessity in the last few years. Energy harvesting and consumption have been in place for some time, but a suitable, printed rechargeable store of energy is lacking. Supercapacitors have been presented as a possible solution and are indeed suitable for a limited number of applications, but suffer from short energy retention times due to leakage currents and low energy densities. A few printed batteries based on zinc chemistry are present, but are non-rechargeable and designed for single use. We have recently developed a printable zinc based chemistry which is rechargeable. The objective of this project is to formulate these newly developed electrodes into pastes which are suitable for screen printing and demonstrate the viability of screen printing to produce rechargeable batteries which can be easily integrated with other printed devices.

PATHFINDER PROJECTS

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


PATHFINDER PROJECTS

Spray Coated Nanowires; Enhanced Stability for Touch Sensing and Solar Cell Applications (Stable Nanowires)

JEFF KETTLE BANGOR UNIVERSITY

Nanowires based on silver, nickel or copper represent an interesting alternative to ITO, as bulk metals such as silver and copper exhibit the highest electrical and thermal conductivity among all metals. Most transparent conducting electrodes (TCEs), currently use ITO based electrodes, which have limited conductivity and possess too high a cost for widespread commercialisation. Furthermore, ITO has limited longevity on polymer substrates and can be a limiting factor in the lifetime and hence value of a product. The project will assess the viability of applying this processing technique and implementing such electrodes in front electrodes for solar cells and light emitting applications. However, the unique manufacturing approach developed could lead to more substantial opportunities for deployment in a wider range of application areas where greater efficiency, longevity and speed of operation are enabled by the low resistance nanowire electrodes.

PARTNERS G24I POWER LIMITED CAMBRIDGE DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY LTD GWENT ELECTRONIC MATERIALS LTD UPS2 CPI LTD

PATHFINDER PROJECTS

DEMOSTHENES KOUTSOGEORGIS NIKOLAOS KALFAGIANNIS NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY PARTNER PRAGMATIC PRINTING

Laser Annealing for Improved Flexible Electronics (LAFLEXEL) The “Laser Annealing for improved FLEXible Electronics” (LAFLEXEL) project aims to deliver high performance metal-oxide thin‐film transistors (TFTs) by introducing a photonic process, namely laser annealing. Laser annealing can be a promising innovation in the field of large scale manufacturing for micro and nano electronic devices. It is an ultra-fast and macroscopically cold process, which can be used in conjunction with temperature sensitive substrates. A laser beam can be moved and manipulated rapidly in order to process large areas and can have high spatial resolution for selective patterning/ annealing. Thus, laser annealing is a process of high value for flexible electronics in large scale approaches (e.g. R2R). The proposed process can significantly enhance performance and reduce costs for high-tech applications by offering precise control, robustness, extended lifetime, high capacity and lower consumable expenses. LAFLEXEL will focus on: • Identifying the most appropriate laser annealing system design and processing parameters. • Investigating the underlying mechanisms against the enhanced electrical characteristics of IGZO TFTs. • Interacting with the EPSRC Centre members towards photonic annealing solutions. • Proposing new alternative solutions by integrating the most appropriate photonic process as a manufacturing step for large area electronics. Overall, by controlling the kinetics and energetics of laser annealing, LAFLEXEL seeks to succeed in the fabrication of high performance metal-oxide TFTs on flexible substrates, which gives great potentiality to the proposed method for applications in the challenging field of large area electronics.

Photo courtesy of Nano Products

PATHFINDER PROJECTS

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Outreach and Networking

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing for Large-Area Electronics seeks to promote the Large-Area Electronics (LAE) field by leading innovative manufacturing research programs and acting in collaboration with both academic and industrial communities to support the scaleup of technologies and processes and facilitate the adoption of LAE technologies by the wider electronics industry. The EPSRC Centre acts, on a national basis, to promote the links between university research and scale-up for industrial manufacturing and commercialisation, in collaboration with other intermediate organisations such as the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

innoLAE Conference The major outreach activity for the EPSRC Centre this year was the inaugural ’Innovations in Large-Area Electronics Conference’ (innoLAE 2015), which was held at Downing College, Cambridge in February 2015. The conference was a great success with 25 speakers, 34 poster presenters, 10 exhibitors and 150 delegates. innoLAE 2015 included a 2-day presentation programme, poster session and an exhibition. With an emphasis on manufacturing, the conference provided an opportunity to hear new results from UK academic researchers, the latest developments from UK and international companies active in the technology and keynotes from leading international organisations. The poster session, drinks reception and conference dinner gave ample networking opportunities. Our keynote speakers were Professor Tsuyoshi Sekitani from Osaka University (Japan), who gave the audience an overview of the most recent results leading to ultra-flexible imperceptible electronics for biomedical applications and Dr Christian Brox-Nilsen from Thin Film Electronics ASA (Norway), who presented their recently installed roll-to-roll printing line for mass-manufacturing of their memory products on plastic webs, a great example of industrial products manufacturing for the Internet-Of-Things. The conference programme covered emerging technologies and application trends in sectors such as automotive with Jaguar Land Rover, consumer electronics with PragmatIC Printing, who plan to introduce intelligence into everyday objects and packaging, and healthcare with talks from Professor George Malliaras (Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne, France) and Matteo

Donegà from the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge. Other highlights included invited talks by Dr. Barbara Stadlober from Joanneum Research in Austria and Dr. Simon Ogier from the UK Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), as well as presentations from the Holst Centre in the Netherlands and VTT in Finland. There were presentations from Oxford Lasers Ltd, FlexEnable Ltd, Silvaco Europe and Merck Chemicals Ltd. Projects at the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in LargeArea Electronics were presented by Professor Henning Sirringhaus (University of Cambridge) and Professor Thomas Anthopoulos (Imperial College London) and latest research from SPECIFIC, Swansea University, Tampere University of Technology, the University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow was also presented. The audience also had the opportunity to hear about the activities of the IEC TC119 Printed Electronics Standardization committee, and funding opportunities to promote high-value manufacturing from innovate UK. The conference was generously sponsored by SIJ Technologies and Printed Electronics Ltd, NovaCentrix Inc, FlexEnable Ltd, PiXDRO Roth & Rau and DZP Technologies Ltd. They were joined in the exhibition area by Sherkin Technologies, RK Print Coat Instruments Ltd and DuPont (UK) Ltd. Building on the success of the first annual conference, the innoLAE Programme Committee is working hard to make sure that innoLAE 2016 (February 1-2, 2016) will provide another great opportunity for attendees to showcase their innovative technologies and hear about the most recent ground-breaking research activities from industrial and academic groups in the UK, Europe and worldwide. innoLAE 2016 will be held at Robinson College in Cambridge, a modern and larger venue, which enables the conference to include more oral presentations and host a larger exhibition and poster session with more opportunity for attendees to network among peers and with customers and suppliers along the whole value chain.

"This conference is really spot on for us. Good mixture of commercial and research presentations; the talks were scientifically sound and informative." DZP Technologies “High quality talks, excellent organisation and networking opportunities. The level of delegates was ideal; good mix between decision makers, researchers and students.” Sherkin Technologies

OUTREACH AND NETWORKING

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Large-Area Electronics Portable Interactive Demonstrator project

4) Waiting Ticket - A flexible wrist band tag incorporating a display and communications to keep a customer informed of the timing of an appointment.

The EPSRC Centre is developing an interactive demonstrator integrating technology provided by UK LAE manufacturers into an easy-to-use system that will be used to stimulate end-user demand for LargeArea Electronics by illustrating the capabilities of LAE technologies to potential customers, end-users, product designers and the public.

The follow-up phase, developing the electronic and mechanical design and manufacturing of a working demonstrator along with the concepts developed by these students, has just started and new LAE demonstrators will be available soon to show the general public what LAE can do and to engage with industrial end-users, trade association, public agencies and other communities interested in the new technology.

In the first phase of the project, using funding obtained from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, we engaged 48 Product Design students at Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London, in a design competition to produce product concepts showing the power and flexibility of LAE in an attractive and compelling way. Industrial partners: Cambridge Display Technology, CIT, FlexEnable, M-SOLV, PragmatIC Printing, Printed Electronics and the Centre for Process Innovation (part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult) provided examples of their technologies for the designers to work with. The students’ concepts were presented to the industrial partners at the end of March 2015 and four designs were chosen as finalists: 1)NERVE: portable electronic massager patch for pain relief. 2) Smart Step: smart insoles with built-in printed pressure sensors to track movement for sports, dance or game applications. 3) Interactive Sample Book: different graphic examples of printed electronics, each of which forms a page of the book, with the technology embedded into the pages.

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“When we were all briefed on this project and took the technology in our hands, I remember we were all amazed not only in its functionality, but also in its lightness and beauty. So it was exciting to think about how this technology can tie together with design to create a new kind of aesthetic.” Hanako Zhang, designer. “This project opened a new door for me, the EPSRC Centre staff and industry partners were very supportive. They helped me to understand how the technology works and what are the available and better material choices that I can use for my design. So now I am feeling more confident as a product designer.” Qian Han, designer.

EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


NMI is a trade organisation that represents the electronics and systems communities within the UK. In April 2015, NMI and the EPSRC Centre worked together to organise an industrialisation network event in Cambridge on “Design for Testability (DFT)”, involving both the conventional electronics and equipment community and the emerging Large-Area Electronics field. Attended by more than 75 delegates from 47 companies, a key outcome of the workshop was the identification of common challenges for the effective design and testing of analogue electronic devices, including LAE products, where testing methods have major implications for the overall system’s cost effectiveness.

Partnerships This year, the EPSRC Centre has been working to establish collaborations with other organisations active in the UK in fields that are linked or connected to LAE. The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), one of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres, supports the growth of Large-Area Electronics by offering SMEs and UK startups the possibility to scale up their manufacturing with industrially-compatible tools, materials and processes. Through a strategic partnership between the EPSRC Centre and CPI, the UK research in the field is now positioned to offer our academics a unique opportunity to test their ideas and research outputs, assess and mature the corresponding technology readiness level up to TRL3 or more and, from there, start the journey towards industrial scale up. The EPSRC Centre and CPI are collaborating on the Innovate UK funded project “haRFest” developing printed NFC energy harvesting (with PragmatIC Printing Ltd), as well as the interactive demonstrator project, mutual support to their respective advisory boards and participation in workshops and initiatives organised by the centres.

Building on the success of this initiative, we are hosting another event with NMI in October 2015, “Large Area Electronics meets Silicon”. The workshop will bring together lead industrial specialists and innovative companies to discuss pathways to access new and emerging markets for electronics. Please refer to ‘The Year Ahead’ for more upcoming EPSRC Centre events. The EPSRC Centre is always open to meet and discuss with other research teams and seek opportunities for collaboration in one of the areas of its technical programme or in exploring new technology or application fields.

Vision: Innovation Through HVM

Lead Commercialiser

Results of feasibility projects, e.g. new materials, process, new device architecture

EPSRC Centre and Partners

EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics EPSRC Centrefunded projects, collaborative projects

TRL 1

new product concepts, new equipment, industrial process ready for scale-up

Reduced risk to HVM Catapult Reduced risk to the value chain

Universities Scale-up of Academic research

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

OUTREACH AND NETWORKING

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Our People

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Chris Rider Director

Dr Mark Leadbeater Programme Manager

Dr Luigi Occhipinti National Outreach Manager

Donata Gilliland Centre Coordinator

Dr Philip Cooper Special Projects

OUR PEOPLE

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Co-investigators

Professor Thomas Anthopoulos

Professor Henning Sirringhaus

Department of Physics and Centre for Plastic Electronics, Imperial College London

Professor Donal Bradley

Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Dr Paul Stavrinou

Department of Physics and Centre for Plastic Electronics, Imperial College London

Department of Physics and Centre for Plastic Electronics, Imperial College London

Professor Tim Claypole

Professor Natalie Stingelin

College of Engineering and Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, Swansea University

Department of Materials, Imperial College London

Professor Mike Turner Professor Andrew Flewitt

School of Chemistry and Organic Materials Innovation Centre, University of Manchester

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Professor Rhodri Williams

Professor David Gethin College of Engineering and Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, Swansea University

Centre for Complex Fluids Processing, College of Engineering, University of Swansea

Professor Arokia Nathan

Professor Stephen Yeates

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

School of Chemistry, University of Manchester

Professor Krishna Persaud School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, University of Manchester

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Research Associate, Optoelectronics Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge Flexible low voltage complementary circuits.

Dr Jaime Martin PASMOMA

Dr Ioan Botiz PASMOMA

Research Associate, Department of Materials, Imperial College London

Research Associate, Department of Materials, Imperial College London.

Patterning strategies for multifunctional organic materials.

Patterning strategies for multifunctional organic materials.

Dr Tim Mortensen Flexipower

James Claypole ARPLAE

Research Associate, WCPC, Swansea University.

Research Assistant, WCPC, Swansea University.

Developing printed technologies to facilitate powering devices wirelessly through RF energy harvesting.

Understanding of the rheological aspects of high-resolution contact printing processes.

Dr Dan Curtis ARPLAE Senior Lecturer, Complex Fluids Research Group, College of Engineering, Swansea University. Understanding of the rheological aspects of high-resolution contact printing processes.

Dr Kham Niang PHISTLES Research Associate, Electronic Devices and Materials Group, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge Measurement of thin film transistors.

Dr Vincenzo Pecunia iPESS

Dr Ehsan Danesh iPESS

Research Assistant, Optoelectronics Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Research Associate, Organic Materials Innovation Centre, University of Manchester

Solution-based transistors, and process integration for flexible electronics.

Design and realisation of printed sensors

Dr Dimitra Georgiadou PLANALITH Research Associate, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London. Exploring adhesion lithography (a-Lith) technique for the development of solution-processed radio-frequency diodes and circuits.

Researchers

Dr Abhishek Kumar PHISTLES Research Associate, Electronic Devices and Materials Group, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge Development of novel test concept for large-area electronic devices.

Dr Atefeh Amin iPESS

Dr Daniel Tate iPESS Research Associate, Organic Materials Innovation Centre, University of Manchester Developing chemical field effect transistor sensors.

OUR PEOPLE

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The Year Ahead

October

2015 20 Oct

31 Oct

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Large-Area Electronics Meets Silicon – from R&D to High-Value Manufacturing (co-organised with NMI), Möller Centre, Cambridge Innovations in Large-Area Electronics (innoLAE 2016) Call for Papers deadline

December

January

2015

2016

Printable Smart Sensor Systems workshop location TBD Pathfinder Call announcement

EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


February

2016

1-2 Feb

March

2016

innoLAE 2016 Conference, Robinson College, Cambridge

Advanced Manufacturing Processes workshop location TBD 31 Mar

May

2016

EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics midterm review

Pathfinder Call deadline

THE YEAR AHEAD

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How to Engage with the EPSRC Centre

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EPSRC CENTRE FOR INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING IN LARGE-AREA ELECTRONICS ANNUAL REVIEW 2015


Our research programme is strongly influenced by industry input and as such we are always looking for industry partners to participate in collaborative projects leveraging our expertise. As a national outreach centre for the LAE community, we would be pleased to facilitate discussions regarding relevant funding calls, and help identify possible teaming partners with a particular expertise. Some of the ways to collaborate with the EPSRC Centre • Sponsor a PhD studentship on a topic of interest to your organisation • Sponsor a student project

The EPSRC Centre plays a unique and highly important role in building links at a national level between academic researchers and UK companies involved in the production of products incorporating large-area electronics. Malcolm Stewart Chairman of the EPSRC Centre Advisory Board

• Work in the EPSRC Centre using KTP or other exchange schemes • Secondment of EPSRC Centre staff to work in your organisation • Propose a Pathfinder project • Collaborate with us on a TSB or Horizon 2020 or other publicly-funded project • Join a multi-company technology programme


Contact us Electrical Engineering Division University of Cambridge 9 JJ Thomson Avenue Cambridge, CB3 0FA info@largeareaelectronics.org www.largeareaelectronics.org +44 1223 332838

EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics Annual Report 2015  
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