Speakers and Presentation Topics

(listed alphabetically, by speaker’s last name)

Low temperature assembly of LEDs on flexible substrates: implications for sensor integration
Ravi Bhatkal, PhD
Vice President, Energy Technologies
Alpha Assembly Solutions

The use of flexible and formable substrates is growing for LED and sensor integration, driven by the desire to provide design freedom and enable systems integration and reduction of systems cost of ownership. Potential applications include lighting, wearables and automotive. There is a benefit to use polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates for such applications due to the flexibility (and in some cases, formability) as well as the potential to reduce cost over polyimide flexible substrates. Use of substrates such as PET requires low and very low temperature assembly of LEDs and sensors on such substrates. This talk presents two such assembly and integration technologies: (1) low temperature solder attach of LEDs on PET flex circuits, and (2) very low temperature curing stretchable, formable interconnects for formable PET substrates and low temperature LED attach. This presentation will discuss the implications of these technologies for sensor integration, and also provide an overview of the industry activity for these types of substrate and integration technologies.

Biography: Dr. Ravi Bhatkal is Vice President of Energy Technologies at Alpha Assembly Solutions, a MacDermid Performance Solutions Business, where he is building and scaling a new business in the alternative energy and energy efficiency value chains. Previously, Ravi served as VP and General Manager of the global engineered products business and led global strategic OEM marketing, strategic planning, and the corporate new business development initiatives at Cookson Performance Materials. Ravi earned a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a BE in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering at Pune University in Pune, India. Ravi currently serves as Member of the Global Board of Directors of iNEMI, the global electronics industry consortium with cumulative member revenues in excess of $750 billion and serves on the Industrial Advisory Board of the RPI Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center. Ravi is widely published and is a co-inventor on two granted and six pending patents.

Flexible electronics prototype development: recent trends, common challenges, and material selection
Drew Evans, PhD
Associate Professor
University of South Australia

For over a century now, since the early ideas of Thomas Edison, scientists and engineers have been experimenting with the concept to bring electrical circuits onto flexible substrates, so called flexible electronics. With the development of conductive/dielectric materials, plastic substrates, and deposition processes, many exciting opportunities are arising. For example, metals and metal oxides are being sputter deposited onto rigid substrates and "lifted off" onto polystyrene to create flexible devices. Alternatively, nanotechnology is allowing new electronic materials to be deposited using techniques such as inkjet printing onto thinner more robust plastics. This presentation will review the recent trends in developing prototype flexible electronic devices. In particular, the common challenges and materials selection will be discussed. The talk will cover topics from traditional materials and processes to new discoveries; from metals to graphene and conducting polymers; and from vacuum deposition to printing.

Biography: Dr. Drew Evans is an associate professor in the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia. He is currently a research leader in Energy and Advanced Manufacturing, leading a group in the development and translation of materials research into commercial product. After completing his PhD at the Australian National University in 2006, he worked in the private R&D industry on new digital printing technology. Since 2010, he has been based at the University of South Australia. During this time he has published numerous scientific papers, and commercialized technology with industry, such as the world's first plastic automotive mirror. Drew currently sits on the South Australian Science Council, and the EMCR Forum Executive under the Australian Academy of Science. In 2013 he was named the South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year.

Flexible hybrid electronics for integrated sensor systems
Miltiadis Hatalis, PhD
Lehigh University

Flexible sensors will need to be integrated with flexible hybrid-electronics that will enable functional active matrix sensor arrays as well as sensor signal conditioning, localized data processing and storage, communication, energy scavenging and other functions. This talk will review the available technological options for integrating flexible hybrid-electronics with flexible sensors in order to form integrated flexible sensor systems. Two distinct classes of flexible electronic devices will be reviewed one based on flexible thin film transistors and one based on thinned silicon CMOS integrated circuits (ICs). The former have advantages in forming distributed electronics for sensor addressing and signal readout while the latter can be used for signal analog to digital conversion, localized data processing, storage and communication. The performance requirements for the TFT devices and the thinned silicon ICs will be reviewed. Material (organic and inorganic) and processing requirements to form TFT devices will be addressed as a function of the underlying flexible substrate. Various approaches to form and integrate flexible silicon ICs will also be reviewed. Examples of integrated flexible sensor systems will be illustrated.

Biography: Professor Miltiadis Hatalis received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and upon graduation he joined Lehigh University. He is the director of the Display and Flexible Electronic Laboratory, a clean room facility with prototyping capabilities. His research activities are on electronic materials, devices and circuits for flat panel displays, sensors, and integrated microsystems on a variety of rigid or flexible substrates including silicon, glass, metal foils, plastic, and paper. Professor Hatalis' research group has been involved with the polysilicon and metal oxide TFT technologies, flexible hybrid-electronics with thinned silicon ICs and organic solar cells. Professor Hatalis has received over $13 million in research funding from DARPA, Army, NASA, NSF, and industry. Some of his group’s notable system demonstrations include a flexible 3.3" VGA AMOLED display, and sensor arrays for biometric and gas sensing applications. Professor Hatalis has served as a consultant in the flat panel display and semiconductor industry and as an expert witness in several patent litigation cases. He is the author or co-author of over 175 publications including three issued patents, two book chapters and has supervised 19 completed PhD dissertations.

Flexible technologies: the next frontier for wearable devices
Edzer Huitema, PhD

Most current wearables are built around traditional, rigid components; this greatly limits their usability, as the human body is flexible and curved. Especially smartwatches, using rigid, flat displays, can only use a small-sized display to fit onto the wrist. This limits the interaction models and usability in a similar way the candy bar phones from 15 years ago limited the usability of the mobile phone. A logical next step for wearable technology is therefore the use of flexible components. This will result in products utilizing the body's available surface area in a much more efficient way, leading to new devices with enhanced capabilities and use. This talk will discuss the current status and outlook of flexible displays and other flexible components for wearable device application. The talk will also present the first wearable product which utilizes a large flexible display.

Biography: Dr. Edzer Huitema is the CTO of Polyera, a global start-up company enabling flexible electronic products. Edzer has 15 years of experience in flexible displays and product design using flexible displays. Prior to joining Polyera, Edzer was the CTO of Polymer Vision, a Philips spin-out pioneering flexible displays and products incorporating them. Prior to that, Edzer held various management positions at Philips. Edzer holds over 140 granted U.S. and foreign patents, and has published over 40 papers and 3 book chapters on flexible electronics. Edzer holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Process technologies for printed electronics: an overview of the latest trends and developments
Thomas Kolbusch
Vice President
Coatema Coating Machinery

The IoT or IoE is supposed to be multibillion-dollar market in the next years. 5G networks and the rapid growth of cloud data storage will impact the whole society and will make data measurement, collection and storage the market of the future. A huge part will be software and data storage, but there is also a need for a new type of hardware components. Products collectively referred to as printed electronics provide the promise to supply the trillions of devices needed for the internet of everything. Printed sensors in roll-to-roll (R2R) processes, hybrid systems and fully integrated devices with sensor, display, memory and, wireless data transfer have the promise of being low cost, disposable and give freedom of design. In this talk, the author will describe the needed R2R core technologies such as coating, printing and laminating. Also, the presentation will provide a deeper look into processes like UV nanoimprint lithography, thermal nanoimprint lithography, laser patterning, and high accuracy registration control for these processes.

Biography: Thomas Kolbusch is Vice President of Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH, an equipment manufacturing company for coating and printing solutions located in Dormagen, Germany. Since 1999 he has been working for Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH in different positions. His responsibilities are marketing, sales and business development. He is a member of the board of directors of the OE-A (Organic Electronics Association). In the OE-A, he leads a working group, which is dedicated to "Up-scaling Production -- from Lab to Fab" and is chairman of the LOPEC exhibition which is the world’s largest event on printed electronics. He is a member of the board of directors of COPT.NRW, which is a local association in Germany on printed electronics. Thomas studied Business Economics at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences and got his degree as a business economist in 1997. He worked for 3M, Germany and the alpi GmbH in Germany, before starting at Coatema GmbH.

The future of sensing is soft: opportunities and challenges of smart textiles
Nick Langston
Sr. Manager, Business Development
TE Connectivity

The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is providing us with sensors everywhere. Wearable technology as one facet of the IoT provides the main point of contact for the average consumer with the IoT in a way that they can understand and appreciate. Nowhere is the potential for the IoT to impact our lives greater than in smart garments and textiles. In this talk we will examine the use cases for textile-based sensing and will review the types of sensors being delivered in soft goods and apparel. Conductive threads, polymers, and carbon nanotube structures used to perform heart rate (EKG), muscle activity (EMG), and motion sensing will be shown. After a brief review of the unique connectivity challenges in apparel, we will look at current integration and connectivity practices with a focus on the sports and fitness markets. We will then cast a vision for future development in textile-based sensors and connectivity.

Biography: Nick Langston is an experienced technology professional, driven by a passion for innovation and design. He worked in the semiconductor industry for twenty years beginning as a mechanical designer of hardware interfaces for IC test and characterization, managed product teams and business development. As a sought-after speaker, he's presented at conferences and technical workshops around the world and has published several articles relating to semiconductor test hardware, as well as served as an authority on wearable trends and technologies. Most recently, Nick held the position of Executive Vice President at R&D Circuits, a PCB manufacturer based in New Jersey. He joined TE Connectivity in December of 2013 to lead the newly formed Wearable Lab Team in Menlo Park, California, which is dedicated to driving innovative design, products and technologies, and partnerships in the emerging wearables space.

Second skin: flexible soft-matter sensing for emerging wearable applications
Tingrui Pan, PhD
Associate Professor
University of California, Davis

Wearable health monitoring technologies have recently received enormous interest worldwide due to the rapidly aging global populations and the drastically increasing demand for in home healthcare. Body worn sensors, which can provide real-time continuous measurement of pertinent physiological parameters noninvasively and comfortably for extended periods of time, are of crucial importance for emerging applications of mobile medicine. Wearable sensors that can wirelessly provide pertinent health information while remaining unobtrusive, comfortable, low cost, easy to operate and interpret data, play an essential role. This talk will provide a comprehensive review of emerging soft-matter sensing technologies with the state-of-the-art materials, fabrication process flows and their potential health-related applications. Also, the latest enabling technologies by soft-matter sensing, including continuous blood pressure monitoring, digitally adjustable compression therapy, and sensor-on-tip integration, will be introduced and demonstrated. As compared to the solid-state counterparts, these new types of wearable sensors could potentially offer high device sensitivities, flexible stretchable constructs, adaptive properties to body, and excellent biocompatibility, all crucial to continuous health monitoring in the next-generation of wearables.

Biography: Professor Tingrui Pan received a B.Eng degree in Thermal Engineering from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and an MS degree in Biomedical Engineering, an MSEE degree and a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. In 2006, Prof. Pan joined in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, where he is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Micro-Nano Innovations (MiNI) Laboratory (http://mini.ucdavis.edu). He directs the Center for Nano and Micro Manufacturing (CNM²), a 10,000 sq ft cleanroom facility for micro and nanofabrication (http://research.engineering.ucdavis.edu/cnm2). His latest research interests include nanofluidic sensing, nanofabrication, bio-nano-interface, bioelectricity, lab-on-a-chip, digital chemistry, mobile health and regenerative medicine. He has authored and co-authored more than eighty refereed journal and conference publications and holds more than 15 US and international patents/patent applications. He was a recipient of NSF CAREER Award and Xerox Foundation Award, and a co-recipient of NSF EFRI Award. Dr. Pan received the Outstanding Engineering Junior Career Faculty Award and the Outstanding Service Award from UC Davis.

Fab to plastic to paper: a realistic roadmap for flexible sensors?
Stephen Whalley
Chief Strategy Officer
MEMS & Sensors Industry Group

With the advent of smart phones and game controllers in 2007, and more recently with a plethora of other CE devices, wearables and now the Internet of Everything/Things (IoE/T), sensors are experiencing unprecedented growth. Forecasts for sensor demand are as high as 100 trillion by 2030. This presentation will outline some of these growth drivers and focus on what lies ahead for new forms of delivery vehicles for MEMS and sensors beyond today's fab based components. Flexible, hybrid and printed sensors will provide some alternatives in the next few years, but what will drive ultra-high volumes and lower costs in the next decade? The future IoE/T landscape will require deployment of printed electronics, antennas, power sources, transistors and sensors to enable multiple orders of magnitude cost reduction per square meter. Stretchable plastic and thin film substrates and ultimately roll-to-roll printing on paper will serve various application, cost, performance and form factor needs. A call to action to the industry will also be proposed to ensure challenges are addressed to realize the opportunities.

Biography: Steve Whalley is the Chief Strategy Officer, MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG), where he is leading efforts to scale the MEMS and sensors ecosystem for the next decade of explosive growth. He is a former MSIG board member and 26-year veteran of Intel Corporation with over 30 years in the semiconductor and MEMS/sensors industries. While at Intel he directed strategy for cross-platform efforts on sensors, multiple wired and wireless I/O technologies, power management and other initiatives. Moving to Chandler, Arizona in 1990 from the United Kingdom, Whalley has managed multiple product and technology development programs in various areas of Intel. He joined Intel in February 1988, working as a European Marketing Manager in Swindon, England. Whalley earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating with Honors from the University of Salford, England. He also received a Master's Degree in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management ("Thunderbird") in Arizona.

Technology Showcase Presenters

Advanced flexible substrate technology for improved accutance of screen printed Ag conductors
Art Dobie
Technical Sales Representative

One of the major concerns with screen printing of polymer Ag pastes onto common flexible PET substrate materials is the overwhelming spread of the paste beyond the design line width after printing. Industry observation and controlled testing have shown this spread to be as much as 180% or greater over the circuit design's intended line width. This issue inhibits designers from increasing circuit density and/or reducing circuit real estate without incorporating other, more involved and more costly patterning methods. This presentation will provide results of numerous in-house and field testing, comparing printed line width control, resolution capability, and edge definition of printed polymer Ag conductors on different flexible PET substrates.

Biography: Art Dobie is Northeast Region Technical Sales Representative for Chromaline Screen Print Products in Duluth, MN. Mr. Dobie has 35 years of experience in the screen printing industry since receiving his BS in Graphic Communications specializing in Screen Printing Technology in 1980 from California University of Pennsylvania. He is a Life Member and Fellow of the Society of the International Microelectronics and Packaging Society (IMAPS), and was the 2006 recipient of the IMAPS John A. Wagnon Technical Achievement Award for outstanding technical contributions to screen printing technology as related to microelectronics. Art was inducted into the SGIA’s Academy of Screen Printing Technology in 1998, and was the 2010 recipient of the SGIA David Swormstedt, Sr. Memorial Award, recognizing the best published article or technical paper written for any aspect of the screen printing industry.

Call for Speakers

If you’d like to participate as a speaker, please call Dr. Mike Pinelis at 734-277-3599 or send a brief email with your proposed presentation topic to mike@memsjournal.com. All speakers will receive a complimentary pass to the workshop.

Workshop scope includes topics related to flexible sensors and electronics, such as:

  • Market trends and future industry projections
  • Sensors: optical, pressure, thermal, radiation, flow, and magnetic used in external devices as well as implanted systems
  • Enabling technologies such as MEMS, OLED, printed electronics, and RFID
  • Smart textiles and smart wires: development, manufacturing, and integration
  • Materials, manufacturing, and packaging of flexible sensors
  • Challenges and opportunities
  • Testing and reliability
  • Power supply and wireless data transmission
  • Integration of flexible sensors into wearable devices
  • Flexible displays, screens, and lighting
  • Battery and solar power applications
  • Bringing flexible sensors to market, FDA testing and approval, commercialization
  • Hybrid electronics (rigid and flexible components together)
  • Industry standards development