8:00–8:30 Coffee and Registration
8:30–9:15 Introductions & Welcoming Remarks
R.D. Shelton, President, WTEC
Michael Reischman, Deputy Assistant Director, NSF/ENG
Pradeep Fulay, NSF Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems; Program Director, Electronics, Photonics and Device Technologies Program
Robert Trew, NSF NSF Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems
Khershed Cooper, NRL Materials Science and Technology Division;
Program Manager, Manufacturing Science Program
9:15–9:45 Introduction and Executive Summary
Dodabalapur (Panel Chair), The
9:45–10:15 Opportunities in Flexible Electronics; Systems
Ana C. Arias, Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.
(Key flexible electronics centers visited)
11:00–11:45 Discussion of Flexible Electronics Opportunities and Center/Partnership Models (Study Sponsors, Attendees, Panelists)
C. Daniel Frisbie,
11:45–1:00 Lunch Break
1:00–1:30 Devices: Goals, Challenges, Needs
Ana C. Arias, Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.
1:30–2:00 Materials: Goals, Challenges, Needs
Tobin J. Marks, Northwestern University
2:15–2:45 Manufacturing: Goals, Challenges, Needs
Daniel Gamota, Printovate, Inc.
2:45–3:30 Open Discussion (Study Sponsors)
3:30–4:00 Summary of Main Findings; Concluding Comments
Dodabalapur (Panel Chair), The
Ananth Dodabalapur is the Ashley. H. Priddy Centennial Professor in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his BS from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (Chennai) in 1985, and MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1987 and 1990 respectively. Between 1990 and 2001 he was with Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ. Since 1992 he has investigated various aspects of the physics and technology of organic and polymer semiconductor devices. He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals and has more than 30 U.S. patents issued or pending office action. His research, on organic transistor circuits and injection lasers has been cited as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs for 2000 by Science Magazine. He is a co-recipient of the 2002 Award for Team Innovation of the American Chemical Society, and a co-recipient of an R&D 100 award for 2001. Since September 2001, he is with The University of Texas at Austin and is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and holds the June and Gene Gillis Endowed Faculty Fellowship. Dr. Dodabalapur's teaching interests are in the areas of electronic circuits (undergraduate), organic and polymer semiconductors (graduate), and charge transport in organic semiconductors (graduate). His current research interests include organic transistors, organic-based chemical and biological sensors, and organic-based laser physics and optics.
Ana C. Arias is currently a member of the research staff and manager of the Printed Electronic Devices Area at PARC Inc., formerly Xerox-PARC, in Palo Alto, CA. At PARC she uses inkjet printing techniques to fabricate organic active matrix display backplanes, flexible electronics and sensors. She came to PARC from Plastic Logic in Cambridge, UK where she led the semiconductor group. She completed her PhD on semiconducting polymer blends for photovoltaic devices at the University of Cambridge, UK. Prior to that, she received her master and bachelor degrees in Physics from the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. Her research work in Brazil focused on the use of semiconducting polymers for light emitting diodes. Ana Claudia is the author of numerous publications and patents on the field of polymer-based electronics and optoelectronics.
C. Daniel Frisbie is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota where he has been since 1994. Prior to Minnesota, he obtained a PhD in physical chemistry at MIT and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. His research focuses on structure and electronic properties of organic semiconductor thin films for applications in transistors and solar cells. He is particularly interested in the dependence of electron and hole transport on molecular structure, crystal packing, intermolecular bonding, and defects in organic crystals and films. Themes include the synthesis and characterization of novel organic semiconductor materials, structure property relationships in organic semiconductor devices, and the application of scanning probe microscopy techniques to electrical characterization. A major recent focus is the use of polymer electrolytes as high capacitance gate dielectrics in organic thin film transistors to boost output currents and lower drive voltages. Frisbie currently leads a multi-investigator effort in Crystalline Organic Semiconductors at the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program of the National Science Foundation. He also serves as Director of Graduate Studies for Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He has published approximately 80 papers.
Daniel Gamota is co-founder and president of Printovate, Inc. which developed a clean-tech large area electronics manufacturing technology for point-of-care diagnostics, lighting, and renewable energy applications. Previously at Motorola in the role of director, he was responsible for all administrative, technical, and product development activities within the Large Area Electronics Department. Dan’s leadership led to his department receiving a 2007 R&D 100 Award for commercialization of a printed electronics enabled product manufactured using electrically functional inks (organic and inorganic semiconducting materials) and large area non-cleanroom manufacturing platforms. In 2008, his department was internationally recognized for having fabricated the first all-printed active matrix flexible display module using conventional graphic arts printing technologies. Dan chairs several international groups that are developing standards for large area flexible electronics and nanotechnology (IEEE) and that are publishing large area flexible electronics roadmaps (International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, Inc. - iNEMI). He has been granted 38 patents, has published 27 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has co-authored three book chapters, and has co-edited the first book that combined the fields of graphic arts printing, microelectronics, organic semiconductors, and nanotechnology. Dan was elevated to IEEE Fellow for his contributions to the field of printed electronics and nanotechnology. He earned a PhD in Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Tobin J. Marks is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry, and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He received a BS from the University of Maryland in 1966 and a PhD from MIT in 1970. Professor Marks was awarded the 2005 Presidential Medal of Science by President Bush, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has published several hundreds of professional papers and has received other prestigious awards. His research group is divided into four parts: organometallics, photonics, MOCVD, and molecular electronics.
Colin E. C. Wood is a Research Professor at Texas State University San Marcos. He came to Texas State University from ONR where he served as a Program Officer for over 18 years. Dr Wood received undergraduate degrees from North Lancashire University and a PhD from Nottingham University. He was awarded the Doctorate of Science by Nottingham University and the Patterson Medal from the United Kingdom Institute of Physics. Dr. Wood is a Fellow of the American Institute of Physics. Dr. Wood has made many paradigm advances of Group III-V science and technology over the last 33 years. His work considered RHEED intensity oscillations, delta and predeposition doping, planar-doped barrier and transistor, low temperature (LT) GaAs, dopant incorporation, non-alloyed ohmic contacts, antimonides and alloy ordering, and structures for infrared detectors. He has published over a hundred professional papers in his field.
This study considers an international assessment of research and development in flexible hybrid electronics and systems. Flexible hybrid electronics incorporate both organic and inorganic semiconductors on a flexible backplane to realize the advantages of both types of semiconductor materials.
There is an emerging demand for electronic circuits and systems on flexible substrates. This trend is in keeping with the spread of electronic functionality everywhere and the emergence of new materials, systems, device architectures, and fabrication processes to create new types of electronic circuits. At the heart of this trend is the functional integration of many types of materials - inorganic, organic, and even biological materials. Such integration permits new functionality and enhanced performance. This field has quickly become a rapidly growing research area, and one where the U.S. and EU are vying for the lead (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Rapid growth of scientific papers in hybrid, flexible electronics and related subjects. The EU produces about as many papers as the US, but Asian countries are behind--Japan with 13 papers in 2007 has the most. The on-line version of the Science Citation Index was the database, with the filter: TS = ("HYBRID ELECTRONIC*") OR ("ORGANIC ELECTRONIC*") OR ("FLEXIBLE ELECTRONIC*") OR ("PRINTABLE ELECTRONIC*").
This has led to projections that this new sector - flexible hybrid electronics - will be an important part of the economy during the next 20 years, with significant growth beginning in a few years. This has led many countries and organizations to start investing heavily in basic research that creates enabling technologies in areas important to the growth of flexible electronics and also in basic science issues that contribute to such systems. Since this new field is diverse, involving many technologies, materials, devices, etc., a plan to systematically advance learning would be helpful. Some basic research is already being done in relevant areas, but more needs to be done to accelerate progress. More importantly, a structured effort to assess international progress could help ensure the competitiveness of the United States in this important new area.
Some successful examples of past research that has had an impact in this area include the development of flexible backplanes based on organic semiconductor transistors for electronic paper [1,2]. Such transistors are inherently more easily printable and their performance levels are adequate for several applications. As requirements for components in flexible/printable circuits and systems get more stringent, new material systems including inorganic semiconductors, organic single crystals, nanotubes, and advanced wiring must be investigated in conjunction with suitable processing techniques. Equally important is the integration of multiple functionality in systems by combining various components such as sensors, actuators, and interface electronics such as antennae. The first examples of such systems are emerging [3,4]
The purpose of this study is to inform program managers and researchers of the international state of the art in flexible hybrid electronics, to identify leading researchers and institutions abroad for possible collaboration, to identify promising topics for future research, and to provide information to program managers for decisions about future research directions. The proposed study will use WTEC's methodology based on an expert panel conducting site visits to overseas laboratories where the best work in flexible printable semiconductors is done. This effort will be combined with literature reviews, coupled with the panel's own research and analysis. The findings of this study will result in deliverables consisting of briefings to sponsors, public workshops, and a final report. Collectively they should provide a comprehensive, peer-reviewed set of evaluations of overseas R&D on flexible organic semiconductors, with comparisons to that conducted in the United States. There are a number of expected benefits from such a study. One important benefit will come from the process itself. Interested programs across NSF and from other agencies will be working together to better define the field and its needs together. Using the findings of this study and other inputs they can collectively work out a roadmap for future research. There will be other tangible benefits. For example, the study is a good vehicle to address some of the key issues of critical importance to programs officers and the research community, including:
The scope of the present study will be determined through discussions between sponsoring agencies and the expert panelists to determine which questions most need answers. It will include a detailed examination of flexible, printed electronics research efforts underway in Europe, and possibly, Asia. Attention will be paid to the semiconductor systems, additional components, and fabrication methods. The functional integration of biological, organic, and inorganic materials into hybrid devices and systems is an important technological necessity. However, this is a major interdisciplinary challenge that requires a focused and organized effort on a sufficient scale. At the heart is the goal of understanding how dissimilar materials and unique properties: (a) Organize on top of each other, (b) Interact with each other chemically and electronically, (c) How information can be exchanged from one type of material to another within the context of a device, (d) How processing methods influence the layers, and (e) How scale, including nanoscale and mesoscale effects impact the points listed above. The importance of fabrication (and hence manufacturing) methods must also be emphasized. Key to the implementation of the types of systems we are contemplating, is the ability to fabricate them using roll-to-roll methods which provide economies of throughput and scale. For example, a company Heliovolt  has revolutionized inorganic thin-film solar cell fabrication based on the CuInGaSe materials system by developing very innovative roll-to-roll processes and print-plate based technologies , which significantly alters the costs of fabricating solar cells. The development and implementation of such processing methods are crucial to the economy of the United States.