Platform for Large Area Conformable Electronics by Integration
Imagine a lamp that is not fixed to the ceiling, but that can be designed into any shape, or even blend into the surroundings. Think of curtains that emit light to mimic the natural, daytime situation, children with illuminating jackets to safely bike home from school, or even light-shining bandages that can treat skin diseases or for infrared massage. The PLACE-it project aims to develop a technology platform for lightweight, thin and conformable opto-electronic systems. It will bring benefits to body healthcare and wellness applications and will lead consumer products with an unprecedented design freedom.
The objectives of PLACE-it are to analyze, develop and implement technologies for the proper combination of functionalities in foil, stretchable and fabric substrates, resulting in conformable opto-electronic systems. Until now, large area interconnection R&D has been done separately for flexible, stretchable and fabric based technology. In the PLACE-it project foil, stretchable and fabric substrate technologies will be gathered and systematically co-developed with the common goal of heterogeneous integration. This will enable detailed comparison and integration to combine best features realized with each individual technology. Modules or sub-systems realized, applying base technologies, will be termed building blocks. Their functional features will comprise light emission, sensing, electronic circuitry, light guiding, interconnection and others.
Various building blocks made in a specific technology will be pooled in toolboxes (a "foil" toolbox, a "stretch" toolbox and a "fabric" toolbox). The building blocks will be selected out of the toolboxes to make the system of choice by proper mechanical and electrical interconnection (integration technology). A large variety of systems and application demonstrators can be made using the platform (i.e. toolboxes in combination with integration technologies). These are not limited to opto-electronic applications; by selecting the appropriate building blocks a wealth of conformable systems can be made, e.g. distributed sensing for health-monitoring. Electronic technologies which are able to bend and stretch free designers from current constraints and contribute to the development of innovative and conformable systems. Such systems will enablea broad range of new applications spanning from Health, Lifestyle, Safety, and Automotive to Security and Internet of Smart Things.