SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  STTR
Topic Num:  AF11-BT05 (AirForce)
Title:  Printable Integrated Photonic Devices
Research & Technical Areas:  Sensors

  Objective:  Develop proof-of-concept printing technology for the design, modeling and manufacture of integrated photonic devices at low dimensions.
  Description:  Printable electronics and photonics are emerging technologies that have attracted a lot of attention over the last decade. Traditionally, CMOS processes have been used to fabricate electronic and photonic devices; however, the processes have generally restricted fabrication to small areas. It is highly desirable to have an affordable process (e.g. printing, nanoimprint lithography, soft lithography etc) that can be used for large area manufacturing of electronic and photonic components on any substrate, including flexible substrates, thus allowing for functional integration of several materials such as organic semiconductors, dielectric and conductive polymers, electro-optic polymers, carbon nanotubes, nanowires, quantum dots, electro-biological materials, etc which are inherently flexible and compatible with flexible substrates such as plastic, fabric, and paper, on a single backplane permitting new functionalities and performance. This permits the production of electronic and photonic devices, which can be conformable, foldable, stretchable, rollable and deformable, which are capabilities of particular interest to the Air Force and DoD. Since more than one electronic and photonic device can be placed on the backplane to achieve fully functionality, such systems have many potential applications, such as conformal optoelectronic integrated circuits, flexible displays, lasers, optical waveguides, modulators, photodetectors, flexible lighting, e-paper, solar cells, RF amplifiers, batteries, sensors, actuators, radio and antenna. These products can be interactive, energy-efficient and ultra-low cost (throwaway). For printed electronic and photonics to be successful, new material discoveries; device designs/structures; scaling to below subwavelength and sub 100 nanometer dimensions; tools for integrated optical, electronic and mechanical quality assurance etc are needed. Especially desired are efforts toward printable optoelectronic integrated circuit for conformal communication systems, reconfigurable photonics, and printable Quantum Dot nano laser arrays. Being able to reliably place nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanoclusters, and quantum dots and structures with advanced printing technology will be one of the challenges to be demonstrated with in a project.

  PHASE I: Develop proof-of-concept printing technology for low dimensional electronic and photonic devices. Develop consumables (e.g., printing inks), processing technologies (e.g., printing), and tools for automation and real-time control. Demonstrate production of integrated electronic/photonic components.
  PHASE II: Fabricate a specific printed electronic and photonic system prototype and demonstrate its utility and performance.

  PHASE III

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military Application: Potential Air Force/DoD applications are lasers, modulators, photodetectors, sensors, photovoltaics for energy-harvesting, antennae and displays for communications. Commercial Application: These systems, apart from being valuable to the military, can also be of commercial value to the civilian applications.

  References:  1. Jin-A. Jeong, Han-Ki Kim, “Characteristics of inkjet-printed nano indium tin oxide particles for transparent conducting electrodes” Applied Physics, Volume 10, Issue 4, Supplement 1, November 2010, Pages e105-e108. 2. B. Kang, L.W. Tan, S.R. Silva, Appl. Phys. Lett. 93 (2008) 133302. 3. J. Xue, S. Uchida, B.P. Rand, S.R. Forrest, Appl. Phys. Lett. 84 (2004) 3013.

Keywords:  printing, printable, inkjet-printing, nanoimprint, flexible electronics, flexible photonics, integrated photonics, nanophotonics, nanoparticles, quantum dots, printable quantum dots, nano-laser, reconfigurable photonics, nanofabrication

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