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Cal Poly to Analyze Screen Printing of Electronics Under an Award from FlexTech Alliance

Dec 4, 2012

FlexTech Alliance today announced an award to the Graphic Communication Dept. at the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) to explore the capabilities of screen printing electronics. The FlexTech Alliance funded study will investigate low viscosity inks to produce thin ink films and fine features. The knowledge gained will help printing industries understand and adopt printed electronics technologies.

Traditionally, screen printing is the most widely accepted printing process in the semiconductor and industrial printing industries. Due to the complexity of the functional materials being used for printed electronics, there is currently no universal printing method. The production process can become complicated in terms of integrating different printing methods. With new technologies developed in the screen printing industry, it may be possible to produce relatively thin ink film with relatively low viscosity inks. This could replace some printing needs that are now done by gravure or flexographic printing, and simplify the printing process. Also, capital investment could be reduced for companies that are interested in producing printed electronics products.

Richard Wilson, Director of Research for Cambridge Display Technology Ltd., and project leader for FlexTech Alliance, stated “It’s important to assess capabilities of the screen printing industry as printed electronics moves into the mainstream. We are looking to the Cal Poly team to identify concepts and potential technologies for simplifying the process of manufacturing printed electronic devices.”
>br> About the FlexTech Alliance The FlexTech Alliance is the only organization headquartered in North America exclusively devoted to fostering the growth, profitability and success of the electronic display and the flexible, printed electronics supply chain. FlexTech offers expanded collaboration between and among industry, academia, government, and research organizations for advancing displays and flexible, printed electronics from R&D to commercialization. To this end, the FlexTech Alliance, based in San Jose, Calif., will help foster development of the supply chain required to support a world-class, manufacturing capability for displays and flexible, printed electronics. More information about the FlexTech Alliance can be found www.flextech.org.

About the Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department offers a curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science degree, which appeals to students having an interest in creativity, science, technology and management. Graphic communication includes electronic and traditional printing, publishing, packaging, digital imaging, computer graphics, website development, digital photography, printable electronics and related areas. The discipline includes media and mass communication involving the creation, production, management and distribution of advertising, marketing, web-sites, books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, packages and other media in printed and digital form. Graduates are in high demand by leading national and international corporations. More information can be found at the department website http://www.grc.calpoly.edu/what-is-grc.html