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November 2015
In This Issue

Status of Flexible Encapsulation to Enable Flexible Electronics

From Printed Electronics World, August 31, 2015 by Dr. Harry Zervos: 

"In 2020 flexible barrier manufacturing for flexible electronic devices such as displays will be a market worth more than US$184 million according to IDTechEx Research . That equates to 3.8 million square meters of flexible barrier films for electronics. Although multilayer approaches - usually organic and inorganic layers - have been the most popular solution for flexible encapsulation so far, there is significant development work with solutions based on single layer approaches such as flexible glass or atomic layer deposition (ALD) which could, in later years, capture part of the market. IDTechEx analysts describe some of the characteristics of flexible glass and ALD films as developers are looking to bring them to market."

Source: Printed Electronics World: 
Image: Printed Electronics World 

Improved Battery Performance from Tin Oxide Anodes

From Materials Views, September 1, 2015 by Gemma Smith: 
"Recent work by Zhao et al., published in Advanced Science, discusses a novel hybrid morphology of SnO2 (tin oxide) as an anode material for lithium or sodium ion batteries. SnO2 has a high theoretical capacity and level of safety, but has been previously limited by low electrical conductivity and large volume changes. Zhao et al. designed and synthesized a new multi-walled carbon nanotube nanostructure containing SnO2 in order to enhance its electrical properties."
Source: Materials Views,
Image: Materials Views

NASA PS400 High-Temperature Solid Lubricant Coating

From NASA Tech Briefs, John H. Glenn Research Center, September 1, 2015: 

"NASA has an ongoing need for high-temperature solid lubricant coatings to reduce friction and wear in turbine engines, rocket engines, and other mechanical systems. Such lubricants must be thermally and chemically stable in air, vacuum, and reducing environments like hydrogen. Traditional lubricants like oil, grease, and PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), and even more exotic solid lubricants like graphite and molybdenum disulphide, lack such capabilities. The key problem is to identify and formulate a material that possesses good mechanical properties, long-term environmental durability, and acceptable friction and wear-reducing characteristics while being practical to apply to bearings, seals, and other mechanical components. 


A new composite material, NASA PS400, has been invented to provide a means to reduce friction and wear in mechanical components while exhibiting excellent dimensional stability and smooth finished surfaces. This plasma sprayed coating is a variant of the previously patented PS304 coating, and has been formulated to provide higher density, smoother surface finish, and better dimensional stability than PS304. "

Source: NASA Tech Briefs, 
Image: NASA Tech Briefs

Graphene as an Alternative Transparent Electrode for OLEDs

From Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP (Dresden), September 9, 2015: 

"Until now transparent electrode materials for OLEDs have mainly consisted of indium tin oxide (ITO), which is expected to become economically challenging for the industry due to the shrinking abundance of indium. Therefore, scientists are intensively looking for alternatives. One promising candidate is graphene, whose application fields are more closely investigated in the project GLADIATOR ("Graphene Layers: Production, Characterization and Integration"). The project GLADIATOR, which is funded by the European Commission, has reached its midterm and has already achieved some successes. The aim of the project is the cost-effective production of high quality graphene at large area, which can then be used for numerous electrode applications. The usability of such applications will be demonstrated at the Fraunhofer FEP by integrating this graphene in OLEDs. "

Source: Fraunhofer FEP, 
Image: Fraunhofer FEP

Anti-Aging Treatment for Smart Windows

From Uppsala University (Sweden), October 1, 2015 by Anneli Waara: 

"Electrochromic windows, so-called 'smart windows', share a well-known problem with rechargeable batteries - their limited lifespan. Researchers at Uppsala University have now worked out an entirely new way to rejuvenate smart windows which have started to show signs of age. 


In the study, the researchers show that an electrochromic tungsten oxide layer which has been charged and discharged many times and has started to lose its capacity can be restored to its former high capacity. This is achieved by running a weak electric current through it while it is in light mode. This takes about an hour. In this way, the electric charge which has 'fastened' in the material is removed and the tungsten oxide layer is like new again."

Source: Uppsala University, 
Image: Uppsala University

A Chameloen-Inspired Stretchable Electronic Skin with Interactive Color Changing Controlled by Tactile Sensing

From Nature Communications, August 24, 2015, by Ho-Hsiu Chou:

"Some animals, such as the chameleon and cephalopod, have the remarkable capability to change their skin color. This unique characteristic has long inspired scientists to develop materials and devices to mimic such a function. However, it requires the complex integration of stretchability, color-changing and tactile sensing. Here researchers show an all-solution processed chameleon-inspired stretchable electronic skin (e-skin), in which the e-skin color can easily be controlled through varying the applied pressure along with the applied pressure duration. As such, the e-skin's color change can also be in turn utilized to distinguish the pressure applied. The integration of the stretchable, highly tunable resistive pressure sensor and the fully stretchable organic electrochromic device enables the demonstration of a stretchable electrochromically active e-skin with tactile-sensing control. This system will have wide range applications such as interactive wearable devices, artificial prosthetics and smart robots."

Source: Nature Communications, 
Image: Nature Communications

Nano-Accordions Help Create Transparent Conductors

From Advanced Materials and Processes, September 2015: 
"Researchers from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, created stretchable, transparent conductors that work due to the structures' nano-accordion design. Their technique uses geometry to stretch brittle materials. 

Researchers crated a 3D polymer template on a silicon substrate. The template is coated with a layer of aluminum-doped zinc oxide and an elastic polymer is applied to the zinc oxide. Researchers then flip the whole things over and remove the silicon and template. The structure is stretchable because the ridges of zinc oxide allow the structure to expand and contract, like the bellows on an accordion. "
Source: Advanced Materials and Processes, Vol 173, No 8, September 2015,  (page 16)
Image: Abhijeet Bagal, 

How to Make Large 2-D Sheets
From MIT, September 21, 2015, by David L. Chandler: 

"Sheets of graphene and other materials that are virtually two-dimensional hold great promise for electronic, optical, and other high-tech applications. But the biggest limitation in unleashing this potential has been figuring out how to make these materials in the form of anything larger than tiny flakes. Now researchers at MIT and elsewhere may have found a way to do so.

The group has determined a way to make large sheets of one such material, called molybdenum telluride, or MoTe2. The new method is based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and makes it possible to create sheets of any thickness, and of a size limited only by the dimensions of the CVD chamber used for deposition. The team says their method is also likely to work for many similar 2-D materials, and could make widespread applications feasible."


Source: MIT News, 
Image: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Superconducting Graphene Created

From University of British Columbia (Canada), September 8, 2015: 

"University of British Columbia physicists have been able to create the first ever superconducting graphene sample by coating it with lithium atoms.

Although superconductivity has already been observed in intercalated bulk graphite-three-dimensional crystals layered with alkali metal atoms, based on the graphite used in pencils-inducing superconductivity in single-layer graphene has until now eluded scientists."


Source: University of British Columbia, 
Image: University of British Columbia / Andrea Damascelli

Stanford Engineers Invent Transparent Coating that Cools Solar Cells to Boost Efficiency

From Stanford University, September 21, 2015, by Glen Martin: 

"Every time you stroll outside you emit energy into the universe: Heat from the top of your head radiates into space as infrared light.

Now three Stanford engineers have developed a technology that improves on solar panel performance by exploiting this basic phenomenon. Their invention shunts away the heat generated by a solar cell under sunlight and cools it in a way that allows it to convert more photons into electricity. The Stanford solution is based on a thin, patterned silica material laid on top of a traditional solar cell. The material is transparent to the visible sunlight that powers solar cells, but captures and emits thermal radiation, or heat, as infrared rays. "


Source: Stanford University, 
Image: Stanford University

$81 Million to Support New National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure

From the National Science Foundation (NSF), 
September 16, 2015: 

"To advance research in nanoscale science, engineering and technology, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide a total of $81 million over five years to support 16 sites and a coordinating office as part of a new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI).

The NNCI sites will provide researchers from academia, government, and companies large and small with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology."


Source: National Science Foundation, 
Image: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Dan Sears

Optics, Photonics Programs are Lighting the Way

From Photonics Spectra, September 2015 by Justine Murphy: 

"While schools nationwide are welcoming students for the start of the new academic year, the article profiles three of the country's top university optics and photonics programs - oldest to newest - that are shaping the future of the photonics industry.

New York, Arizona and Florida boast three of the best optics programs in the U.S. - the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences, and the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. All are among the top 14 optics programs in the country, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2014.

These programs raise the bar for optics and photonics research, with Rochester's recent designation as the host site of a new government-funded AIM Photonics institute; Arizona's decades-long reputation as an innovation front-runner with award-winning students, researchers and industry partners; and Florida's revolutionary work to advance technology such as flexible displays and solar cells. "


Source: Photonics Spectra, 
Image: University of Rochester

FlexTech Alliance Receives $75 Million Department of Defense Award to Create and Manage a Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Facility

From FlexTech Alliance, August 28, 2015: 

"The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded FlexTech Alliance a Cooperative Agreement to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII). The award is for $75 million in federal funding over a five-year period and is being matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources, including the City of San Jose, private companies, universities, several U.S. states, and not-for-profit organizations. FlexTech Alliance's winning proposal results in the first of seven MIIs to be headquartered on the West Coast. The DoD's Manufacturing Technology Program Office (ManTech) oversees the MIIs.

FlexTech Alliance, a research consortium and trade association, successfully proposed a San Jose-based hub and node approach to create the FHE MII, which comprises 96 companies, 11 laboratories and non-profits, 42 universities, and 14 state and regional organizations."


Source: FlexTech Alliance, 
Image: FlexTech Alliance

New Material Science Research May Advance Tech Tools

From Louisiana State University (LSU), August 31, 2015: 

"Hard, complex materials with many components are used to fabricate some of today's most advanced technology tools. However, little is still known about how the properties of these materials change under specific temperatures, magnetic fields and pressures.

Researchers from LSU, Fudan University, the University of Florida and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures in Nanjing, China, conducted research on materials that separate into different regions through a process called electronic phase separation, which is poorly understood. Their research advances the understanding of how these materials can be manipulated without having to discover new materials, change the chemical concentration or apply external magnetic fields."


Source: Louisiana State University, 
Image: Louisiana State University

ARPA-E: 11 Projects Funded for High-Performance Solar Power

From ARPA-E, August 24, 2015: 

"President Obama and Energy Secretary Moniz announced at the Clean Energy Summit $24 million in innovation funding for 11 new solar technologies, as part of ARPA-E's newest program, MOSAIC. Short for Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration, MOSAIC projects seek to develop a new class of cost-effective, high-performance solar energy modules.

These micro-CPV (concentrated PV) technologies will use thousands of small lenses to concentrate sunlight onto an array of micro-PV cells in order to achieve a higher solar-to-electricity conversion. By exploiting micro-CPV techniques, the teams aim to reduce system costs and dramatically improve flat-plate PV efficiency - and thereby expand the market and geographic areas in which these technologies can operate successfully."


Source: ARPA-E, 

Unusual Discovery in Thin Film Magnetism

From University of Twente (The Netherlands), August 13, 2015: 

"Researchers of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente have discovered an unusual magnetic effect in nanolayers of an oxide of lanthanum and manganese (LaMnO3). Joint work with colleagues from Singapore, the United States and Ireland revealed an abrupt magnetic transition brought about by the slightest change in thickness of the layer.

Such an abrupt transition has never been seen before. The researchers give an explanation for the abrupt switch from antiferromagnetism to ferromagnetism, based on an avalanche of electronic charge inside the LaMnO3 thin film from the top surface of the film to the bottom."


Source: University of Twente, 
Image: University of Twente 

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   Upcoming Conferences of Interest 

9th Symposium on Vacuum-Based Science and Technology

Kolobrzeg, Poland

November, 17-19, 2015


The 9th Symposium on Vacuum Based Science and Technology is organized by the Faculty of Technology and Education, Koszalin University of Technology, and the Clausius Tower Society under auspices of the Polish Vacuum Society and the German Vacuum Society and in collaboration with the BalticNet PlasmaTec and the Society of Vacuum Coaters.


The mission of the Symposium is to provide a forum for presentation and exchange of expertise and research results in the field of vacuum and plasma science.


Symposium topics

  • Plasma physics and techniques
  • Vacuum science, techniques and trends
  • Protective coatings and thin films
  • Characterization of surfaces and thin films
  • Thin films for solar cells and sensors
  • Plasma based surface treatment technologies

New trends and concepts of plasma based deposition processes Authors of contributions accepted for oral presentation during the Symposium are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to VACUUM.


Featuring the SVC Tutorial Course: 

Monday, Novermber 16, 2015 * 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
C-338 Application of Reactive Sputtering, by Ralf Bandorf and Holger Gerdes, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engneering and Thin Films IST, Braunschweig, Germany


Register Now!


Manufacturers and sales companies offering vacuum equipment, measurement and control systems as well as components for vacuum based science and technology are invited to offer their products and promotion materials during the Industry Exhibition. 

Visit the Conference Web Page to learn more: 

Printed Electronics USA
November 18-19, 2015
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
The only event focused on the commercialization of printed, organic and flexible electronics. Meet customers, do business.

Our Mission
  • Focus on end-user needs and sector requirements: case studies, requirements, opportunities
  • Clarify the latest technology and product developments and their roadmaps: capabilities, costs, plans
  • Clear market insight and sector appraisal: profitability, market sizing
  • Network with large numbers of end-users/ adopters
Full coverage of related markets through relevant co-located events


2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit
November 29-December 4, 2015
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, Massachusetts USA 

The 2015 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting & Exhibit features many new and emerging areas of materials research as well as an exciting mix of well-established and popular topics, including:



  • Biomaterials and Soft Materials
  • Nanomaterials and Synthesis
  • Mechanical Behavior and Failure of Materials
  • Electronics and Photonics
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Theory, Characterization and Modeling
With 55 technical symposia, more than 6000 oral and poster presentations, an exhibition featuring over 250 international exhibitors from all sectors of the global materials science and engineering communities, and many special events, the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit offers attendees a wide-range of knowledge-building opportunities.

For the most up-to-date information on the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting, visit regularly.

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