Flexible Functional Materials and Plastic Electronics Technology Development through the Plastic Electronics Technology Centre (PETeC)

The Plastic Electronics Technology Centre (PETeC), led by CPI, will be an internationally recognised facility for the development and exploitation of direct write technologies and flexible functional materials (FFM) such as polymer electronics. The Centre will offer a full range of product development services including application and technology roadmapping, market intelligence, product design and prototyping, fabrication, systems integration, validation and low volume manufacturing capabilities.

Planning permission has been granted for constructing the 30,000 sq ft PETeC premises at NetPark with the facilities and services coming on-stream during 2007.

International Clients and Partners

The PETeC will be utilised by international clients and partners for whom constant technical development is the norm. This critical mass of activity and focus on maintaining a continuous technological lead will establish the PETeC as a national asset, at the heart of a new plastic electronics cluster in Europe.

A key aspect of the PETeC strategy is that it is designed to address the needs of both multinational players and dynamic new spin-outs - all attracted by the quality of its volume prototyping facilities and experienced team of scientists, engineers and business professionals.

Flexible Functional Materials (FFMs)

Flexible functional materials (FFMs) form the basis of a completely new range of applications. The PETeC will support innovations for high-value products, particularly those linked to medical diagnostics and treatment, energy and advanced materials for societal and consumer products. Potential applications include smart packaging, real-time newspapers, intelligent signage, point-of-care medical diagnostic devices, novel drug delivery devices, smart sportswear, fashion clothes and accessories, printed electronics for consumer products and solar cells.

High Resolution Ink Jet Printing

In its early stages, the PETeC will provide a source of new research and development in the application of high-resolution ink jet printing. New knowledge gained will enable the Centre to deliver flexible foundry technologies, capable of usage for the pilot manufacture of a wide range of new products.

Processing Techniques

To deliver on clients¡¦ expectations of continual technical advancement, the Centre will explore a number of innovative new areas including low and high resolution, large area processing techniques. Driving down cost and increasing productivity in the finished product will be a key aim. To achieve the client centred cost objectives, the Centre will work with partners to investigate better barrier layers on plastic substrates. It will work to understand the mechanical and thermal properties of organic multi-layer devices on plastic substrates, and the limitations that these place on roll-to-roll processing of conformable and flexible products.

UK Leadership in Polymer Electronics

Global markets for polymer electronics are large, accessible and knowledge-based. This makes them an ideal fit for the UK¡¦s growing strengths in advanced micro and nanotechnology research. The PETeC will ensure that the UK retains its leading position in carbon-based electronics by working at a strategic, national level. Specifically this will be achieved by:

  • Developing a technology roadmap for plastic electronics and FFM technology priorities in order to inform long term DTI technology strategy
  • Providing a market led stimulus to universities through collaborative projects
  • Creating a UK forum to bring together plastic electronics stakeholders and parties including investors, entrepreneurs, scientific researchers, engineers, product designers, technology users, product users and suppliers
  • Providing a qualified and independent view for representation on key government and industry technical and policy committees
  • Creation of partnerships and linkages to international networks in related technologies including bio-nano, speciality chemicals and energy

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CPI.

For more information on this source, please visit CPI.

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