Using Additive Manufacturing to Produce Ubiquitous Electronics
For decades, the success of the electronics industry relied almost exclusively on the costly and large-scale processing of semiconductor materials like silicon.
But today, the Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things data revolutions are pushing for intelligent cyber-physical systems that can make better-informed decisions in real time based on more complete, readily acquired data sets. To bring about this profound transformation, we need better—and cheaper—sensor architectures, whether we are producing biomedical, manufacturing or consumer electronics.
Thanks to recent advances in nanotechnologies, new solution-based material systems have shown the potential to compete with conventional semiconductor technologies, offering much lower processing costs. But many challenges still need to be addressed before we can develop better, more viable devices.
As Canada Research Chair in Printable Hybrid Optoelectronic Materials and Devices, Dr. Sylvain Cloutier is creating a library of solution-based materials that can be used to produce a wide range of optoelectronic devices (which operate on both light and electrical currents), such as solar cells, light-emitting diodes, photodetectors, thermoelectric generators and conductive paints and sensors.
At the same time, Cloutier and his research team are focusing on print processing and integrating these new material systems into low-cost optoelectronic devices that can be used in everything from energy harvesting to wearable sensors.