All smart electronics in products such as wrist-wearable computers are on a rigid board under the face of the watch. The roll-to-roll technique enables electronics to be printed on a plastic or elastomeric foil, which has various benefits such as thinness, lightness, elasticity and transparency. In hybrid-integrated systems, separate components are mounted on a printed electronic foil, after which the foil can be overmolded with thermoplastic or thermoplastic elastomer, using the injection molding process.
”For the wristband demo, we performed all of the key manufacturing stages for printed hybrid systems – the printing of conductors, the assembly of semiconductor LEDs and the overmolding – using the roll-to-roll technique. This enables the mass manufacture of small-sized, easy-to-use, flexible electronics in a cost-effective manner,” said Sami Ihme, senior scientist.
”The results have been promising. In the first test run for the overmolding of 186 LEDs, we achieved a 100% yield,” explains Ihme.
The demo will be presented at the international LOPEC fair for printed electronics in Munich, Germany on March 29–30, 2017.