This week, at the Meeting of the International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society (IMAPS 2015), CMST and imec (a lab at Ghent University) will present a new thermoplastically deformable electronic circuit. This circuit enables low cost 2.5D free-form rigid electronic objects.
These circuits are currently being tested to determine its potential to improve LED technology. Researchers are optimistic the circuits will help produce new lamp designs, wearables and new smart applications.
“The innovative technology is based on meander-shaped interconnects, a robust technique to realize dynamically stretchable elastic electronic circuits including LEDs. These are then embedded in thermoplastic polymers (e.g. polycarbonate). Following production on a flat substrate, using standard printed circuit board production equipment, the circuit is given its final form using thermoforming techniques such as vacuum forming, high pressure forming or even injection molding,” according to Phys.org.
“Upon cooling, the thermoplastic retains its shape without inducing large internal stresses in the circuits. The method, based on standard available production processes, does not require large investments, reducing the cost of fabrication. The resulting designs have a low weight and low complexity, a high resilience, a low tooling and material cost, and a higher degree of manufacturer independence due to the standard industrial practices that are used,” according to Phys.org.