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Transfer Printing: A Versatile Manufacturing Approach for High Performance Flexible Electronics and Energy Storage

Dr. Cunjiang Yu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Title: Transfer Printing: A Versatile Manufacturing Approach for High Performance Flexible Electronics and Energy Storage

Abstract: Flexible electronics represents a new form of electronics whose flexible mechanical characteristics are highly favored in many applications that are not accessible with hard, planar integrated circuits that exist today. Manufacturing technologies, such as roll-to-roll processing, allow for fabrication of high throughput, low cost flexible electronics. However, due to incompatibility with inorganic crystal semiconductor materials widely used in main stream semiconductor industry, these manufacturing techniques do not allow for high performance electronics.

We look to transfer printing as a manufacturing means to be able to heterogeneously integrate inorganic materials with any receiving substrates. By integrating high performance electronics with ultra-thin plastic or compliant elastomers, we add new dimensions to the emerging field of flexible electronics, which open the field to biomedical and bio-inspired applications. This transfer printing techniques, when incorporated with current manufacturing technologies, can potentially serve as a pathway to low cost, high throughput, high performance flexible electronics.

In this talk, a biomimetic design of soft camouflage skin, which is able to automatically change its color by matching the surroundings, will be presented to exemplify the manufacturing, materials, and mechanics strategies. Integrating conventional wafer-based ultra-thin semiconductor electronics with flexible and soft substrates by transfer printing will be presented as a strategy to realize such complicated flexible electronics system.

Additionally, transfer printing enables the integration of thin Si films onto soft, elastomeric substrates to allow for stress relaxation in rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Specifically, Si based anodes, which theoretically has the highest known capacity, when integrated with soft materials has demonstrated superior cyclic life time and high capacity for rechargeable batteries compared with all other current technologies. Such transfer printing manufacturing approaches enabling hard/soft hybridization opens broad opportunities for the development of high performance Li-ion batteries.