Holst Centre Eindhoven, imec and University of Ghent Collaborate on Flexible and Stretchable Electronics

Posted on June 14, 2011 @ 04:24 pm

Holst Centre (an open-innovation initiative by imec and TNO) and the Centre of MicroSystems Technology (CMST), imec’s associated laboratory at Ghent University, join forces on flexible and stretchable electronics.

The collaboration is an almost natural consequence of the complementary topics at the two nearby-located research groups. Progress will be made in the integration of flexible and stretchable electronics, for example for applications in the fields of sensors, health, lighting and organic photovoltaics.

Over the past years, CMST has built significant expertise in integration technologies for flexible and stretchable electronics with a focus on high density, high end PCB-type applications. Amongst the focus points of CMST are: silicon chip embedding in polyimide stretchable electronics and textile integration. Holst Centre on the other hand has built-up significant competences in the field of integration technologies for large area flexible electronics with an important focus on low cost PEN/PET substrates. Its main research topics involve silicon chip embedding in PEN/PET substrates and foil lamination and interconnection.

The formal collaboration between the two entities has the advantage that the full scope of integration technologies from high end to low cost is available for both flexible and conformable applications. It allows choosing the best technology for the application.

Although cross-the-boarder between Belgium and the Netherlands, the distance between the two research groups is negligible in view of the ambition to be a global player in the research field. The collaboration therefore illustrates how Holst Centre’s ties with its mother organizations result in a more bundled and efficient innovation strategy.

One of the first fruitful outcomes of the collaboration already becomes visible. CMST has a technology for making stretchable electronics based on meanders and embedding in PDMS rubber. Up to now, this technology is based on photodefinable polyimide and traditional PCB-technology. Jointly, the technology is being transferred to large area electronics, laser structuring and low cost foils. This for example opens up the possibility of making stretchable OLED devices.


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