Holst Centre R&D institute printed and flexible electronics for automotive

Posted by – December 2, 2019

Holst Centre is a R&D institute from the Netherlands focusing on printed and flexible electronics For this years IDTechEx we decided to focus on our activities for automotive. Next to integrating electronics in polycarbonate substrates (in mold structural electronics), we are also integrating electronics into glass First the circuits are printed on PET or PVB, then components are placed such as LED’s or chips before laminating the printed electronics into glass The challenge is processing on substrates with very low glass-transition temperature and lamination of relatively thick components without any distortions. The demonstrator we show here uses a transparent capacitive touch button to switch on the LED’s. This enables functional glass which can be used as user interface in public transport, in architectural applications and road user communication for cars Starting with printing electronics in 2D, we now also print in 3D. The machine we have partially developed in-house uses the principle of stereolithography, where a curable photopolymer is hardened layer-by-layer by applying UV light. Using modular illumination, the system can rapidly print large designs. Within the system we are able to place components such as near field chips and dispense lines. This enables small series production: from digital design and raw materials to a 3D electronics structure. The main benefits are being able to optimize the volume dimensions and the fact that the result is rugged. We work with this technology for applications in chip packaging, automotive and defense but we are also looking for other applications Large arrays of elastomer based pressure sensors on flexible substrates such as TPU enables unobtrusive monitoring of posture when laminated into chairs, beds, wheelchairs etc. These pressure sensors consist of a piezo resistive material with a suspended conductive membrane. When pressure is applied, a resistance is measured. The printing technology enables low cost sensing capability over a large area. The example demonstrated is a large pressure sensitive mat, but we also offer fully printed piezo-electric sensors to measure motion and temperature sensors. By integrating many different sensing modalities and measuring at many locations, a lot of data is available to optimize the signal for a specific application, such as a driver drowsiness monitor. Next to these examples Holst Centre works on flexible displays, smart clothing and many other exciting applications of printed electronics. We are happy to see at this IDTechEx event that Faurecia announces volume production of so called plastronics. For the success of the printed electronics industry it is important that all parties in the value chain collaborate to bring even more products to market using printed electronics technology. As Holst we are always looking for new partners to take on this challenge together.

Filmed at IDTechEx USA 2019