The aim of the Flexlines consortium, a consortium of which DSP Valley is also a part, is to build a state-of-the-art but stable pilot line and then set up a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the realization of Flexible Electronics prototypes. Prototypes that meet the needs of the local industry in the border region will be realized for validation and as showcases.
Flexlines is funded within the Interreg V program Flanders-Netherlands, the cross-border cooperation program with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund.( Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling.)
The project brings together leading partners: TNO (with inputs from Holst Centre/Brightlands Materials Center), imec (research groups in Leuven & Eindhoven, CMST group UGent and IC-Link), TU/e, KU Leuven and DSP Valley.
The Flexlines project has started in 2018 and has taken some clear steps forward.
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.
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:
– PROCESS DESIGN KIT
A Process Design Kit (PDK) has been realized by imec and KU Leuven to streamline the electronic design
– LEAN SIX SIGMA METHODOLOGY
The quality of electronics components from the GEN1 TFT Pilot Line at TNO has been improved using a Lean Six Sigma methodology.
Read more about this methodology
– TRANSPARENT FINGERPRINT SCANNER
Holst Centre has realized a Transparent Fingerprint Scanner demonstrator.
For this scanner they gained the ‘Best Prototype Award’ at the leading display conference and exhibition SID Display Week 2019 in San Jose in May 2019
Read more about this Transparent Fingerprint Scanner demonstrator
– OVER-MOLDING OF ELECTRONIC FUNCTIONALITIES ON FLEXIBLE POLYIMIDE-COPPER SUBSTRATES
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. Read more
– FLEXIBLE CAPACITIVE IDENTIFICATION TAGS
Imec, TNO, and Cartamundi have announced that they have developed a flexible capacitive identification tag that communicates with standard touch screens (C-touch). C-touch tags are thin and flexible chips that can be integrated in a wide range of paper and plastic based objects such as tickets, certified documents, payment cards,… realizing smart products. The connection to the internet is established simply by placing the tagged object on the touchscreen or vice-versa.
The results have been published in the magazine ‘Nature Electronics’. Read more
– FLEXIBLE CHIPS IN PAPER
In June 2020 the project has reached a new milestone. Very thin flexible chips can be integrated into paper gaming cards, tickets and official documents.
This way these paper documents are being converted into smart documents, enabling extra features -like gaming, security and logistics- for the users. The flexible chips have been designed by imec, manufactured by TNO and integrated in paper by Cartamundi. Now each card can have a unique electronic ID without losing any of its touch and feel. Each paper card, ticket or document can interact with electronics devices and provide extra digital information to the users.
– NIR VEIN DETECTOR
A demonstrator for vein detection has been launched at Holst Centre, based on in-house technology. The near-infrared (NIR) vein detector identifies the blood running through the veins, so patterns of people’s veins can be measured.
This new state-of-the-art NIR vein detector displays the progress on NIR OPDs from material to optimized device stack and demonstrates a prototype for a specific application: biometric vein recognition.
– INTEGRATION OF ELECTRODE ARRAYS IN MICROTITER PLATES
Biochemical experiments are generally performed in standardized microtiter wellplates according to ANSI/SBS standards. Therefore, integrated electronic readout of microbiological systems need to be rendered compatible with these standards.
Within the Flexlines project, a number of prototype demonstrators have been realised for the introduction of Metal Electrode Arrays (MEAs) and high density Active-Matrix Electrode Arrays into 3D printed COC microtiter plates. Read more about the microtiter plates
Flexlines brings together leading partners: