Flexlines

 

 

Flexible electronics (FE) is seen worldwide as a promising technology: electronics are being printed on thin substrates and films. This creates new possibilities. Light, flexible, and portable electronic products such as foldable lighting and signage, reusable sensors, roll-up solar cells and displays,…

Flexlines wants to build a state-of-the-art but stable Flexible Electronics pilot line.

That is why the project brings together these leading partners : 

  • TNO (including inputs from BMC/Brightlands Materials Center)
  • imec (including research groups in Leuven and Eindhoven, associated CMST group at UGent and IC-Link)
  • TU / e
  • KU Leuven
  • DSP Valley

Processes and infrastructure for design and production are being developed and tuned. Prototypes that meet the needs of the local industry in the border region are being realized. These prototypes are used for validation and as showcases.

A one-stop-shop will also be put in place. Partners and companies can order flexible and inexpensive electronic applications and count on tailor-made support.

Flexlines is funded within the Flanders-Netherlands Interreg V program, the cross-border cooperation program with financial support from the European Fund for Regional Development. 

More info: www.grensregio.eu and on the Flexines website: www.flexlines.be or www.flexlines.nl 

  

    

Progress on the project

The Flexlines project, started in 2018, has taken some clear steps forward. 
 
Read the full article at the DSP Valley blog. 
 

One single frontdesk

Imec is developing multi-customer project services for flexible electronics. This makes it possible to lower the fabrication cost by sharing multiple customer prototypes on the same production run. Academia and companies can contact one single frontdesk with their requests regarding possible functional demonstrators based on Flexible Electronics. 


Technical highlights

The project partners have established clear links in the workflows from Initial Contact Request over Prototype Design to the Realization of the (integration of) Electronics in a Final Demonstrator.

Technical development has also resulted in some highlights:

  • A Process Design Kit (PDK) has been realized by imec and KU Leuven to streamline the electronic design
     
  • The quality of electronics components from the GEN1 TFT Pilot Line at TNO has been improved using a Lean Six Sigma methodology. 
     
  • The compatibility of Integration Technologies such as Injection Moulding and Thermoforming with the core Flexible TFT Technology is under investigation
     
  • Holst Centre has realized a Transparent Fingerprint Scanner demonstrator, gaining the ‘Best Prototype Award’ at the leading display conference and exhibition SID Display Week 2019 in San Jose in May 2019 
     

 

  • Imec-cmst and Brightlands Materials Center have demonstrated over-molding of electronic functionalities on flexible polyimide-copper substrates. The combination of electronics with polymeric structures is a new technology platform as it integrates multiple functionalities into plastic products. Electronic components were mounted on a flexible printed electronic foil using lead free solder, after which the foil can be adhered with a thermoplastic polymer, using an over-moulding process. This is one of the main technologies developed in project Flexlines. Read the full article.

Flexlines establishes contacts with academia and companies at conferences and through events. Read more about and attend the Flexlines events to stay up to date on the progress of this project. 

Sign up for the flexlines newsletter.