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Tuesday, June 27 • 9:00am - 5:00pm
Pre-Conference Symposium 5: Printed, Flexible, Stretchable and Functional Fabric Sensors and Systems: Technologies and Applications for Wearable and IoT Applications

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The availability of sensors that can take the shape of their imposed working environment has existed for quite some time with the earliest being for aerospace applications.  Most recently, there has been an exponential growth in the field of flexible, printed and organic large-area electronics and sensors driven by applications including wearables, e-Health  and the Internet of Things (IoT). These new electronics and sensors are fabricated on flexible plastic substrates or are printed/woven into fabrics, which offer advantages such as mechanical flexibility, shape conformity, light weight and low profile. The creation of these “non-classical” platforms is enabled by low cost high-speed manufacturing of devices over large areas using various technologies including Roll-to-Roll production. 


The extensive list of 12 speakers, who represent the international “who’s who” in this topical area, will present several of the more interesting printed/flexible/stretchable and functional fabric sensor technologies and their applications currently under development and in production in the commercial sector as well those under development in the leading research universities and research labs around the world.   In addition to these sensors, we will address the challenges of their integration with other functional element of basic Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable applications.   We will also address the manufacturing issues to create these heterogeneous and hybrid solutions from both a batch mode and continuous process.  Finally, barriers to the successful commercialization of these sensors and recommended strategies for market success will be presented. 

  • 9:00am - 9:25am Welcome & Introduction Roger Grace

In recent years, there has been an exponential growth in the field of flexible, printed and organic large-area electronics and sensors. These new printed electronics and sensors are fabricated on flexible plastic substrates as well as on/in fabrics, which offer advantages such as mechanical flexibility, shape conformity, light weight and low profile. The judicious use of these substrates/carrier platforms enables low-cost and high-speed manufacturing of devices over large areas using printing technologies in a Roll-to-Roll production line.  Targeted applications include wearables, environmental monitoring and eHealth.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded $75M to FlexTech Alliance to establish and manage a San Jose-based facility to create a Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII).  Additionally, the recent award of $75M, also by the US DoD, with $250M in matching grants from regional governments, industry and academia for the creation of a research and development consortia, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), headed by MIT for the development of sensors and other electronic functions has validated the potential of this technology to create “smart fabrics” for consumer and military wearable applications.

  • 9:25am - 9:55am Printing of Nano and Microscale Electronics and Sensors Using Direct Assembly of Nanomaterials on Flexible or Rigid Substrates Dr. Ahmed Busnaina
Over the last decade, there has been a paradigm shift in manufacturing of low-end electronic devices and other nanomaterials based-devices away from vacuum-based processes and toward printing technologies. Inkjet, screen-printing and gravure are three printing technologies that are commercially used for printing electronics, flexible displays, and RFID tags. However, the smallest features that can be printed using inkjets today is about 20 microns, although this is still sufficient for many applications, its scale leaves it far behind today’s silicon electronics. The next generation of printed devices requires printing features at today’s silicon electronics line width, which is 1000 times smaller (about 20 nanometers). We have developed a new technology that uses directed assembly based printing at the nanoscale to make products that fully take advantage of the superior properties of nanomaterials. This printing technology can print metals, insulators and semiconductors (including III-V and II-VI), organic and inorganic materials into micro and nanoscale structures and circuits (down to 20 nanometers) on flexible and rigid substrates. In this presentation, we show the applications of this technology in electronics, sensors and metamaterials applications.
  • 9:55am - 10:20am Integration Challenges of Flexible Magnetoresistive Sensors Susana Cardoso

We are surrounded with applications requiring the detection of local magnetic fields using ultrasmall, flexible and highly sensitive sensors. These can be artificial skin for robotics, NDT inspection, data storage or neuronal activity monitoring, just to mention a few. Several mature technologies exist for field detection, but not all could match all the performance requirements as thin film magnetoresistive (MR) sensors. Highly advantageous are the field detectivity (down to 400 pTesla at 1 Hz), room temperature operation, monolithic integration with CMOS electronics, thermal stability (250ºC), small size (from ~100 µm to ~100 nm) and (most important here) readily scalable through top-down nanofabrication techniques providing a relatively low cost and ease of implementation with multi-wafer projects.

In this presentation we will explore the integration challenges of MR materials in flexible electronics, for fabrication approaches based on a) direct film growth on flexible substrates, b) top-down processing with flexible interlayers for final device detach, and c) hybrid integration of silicon rigid elements with flexible interconnections.

We will assess the microfabrication scalability and production costs, targeting at applications with challenging specifications where flexible MR sensors offer advantages over other technologies. 

  • 10:20am - 10:45am Precision Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Processes: Enabling Low-Cost/High-Volume Electronics and Sensors Jaye Tyler
  • 10:45am - 11:00am BREAK
  • 11:00am - 11:25am Printed and Hybrid Electronic Sensors for Healthcare and Wearable Technology Jani Mantyjarvi

The presentation provides an overview on the potential of high-volume printing technologies for sensors in Healthcare and Wearable Technology applications based on examples of current R&D work in Printed and Hybrid Electronics at VTT. The use of expert knowledge in paper technology, printed electronics, hybrid integration, wireless communication and data analytics aims at creating low-cost, printed solutions as an alternative to expensive conventional sensor networks. With the growing demand for rapid and reliable disease testing and continuous vital parameter monitoring, roll-to-roll printing methods have the best potential to prove upscalability of diagnostic tests and wearable device technology for the mass market. VTT’s roll-to-roll pilot printing and hybrid integration facilities provide upscaling infrastructure for printed and hybrid devices at all product stages: from prototype to mass product.

  • 11:25am - 11:50am Gas Sensors in Wearable Formats: Synergy between Electronics, Materials Science and Data Analytics Radislav Potyrailo
Modern scenarios of gas monitoring for industrial safety, medical diagnostics, and environmental surveillance demand new technologies with higher accuracy in unobtrusive form factors and at low cost. Wearable gas sensors are becoming at the forefront of these societal needs because of their expected ubiquitous implementations in complex environments.

The need for wearable gas sensors that operate without false alarms is critical in many applications. Unfortunately, poor accuracy of available wearable and even tethered gas sensors limit their broad adoption for ubiquitous sensing.

We are designing and building a new generation of gas sensors to meet demanding sensing requirements of modern society. Our sensor electronics designs have low cost and low power in flexible formats, compatible with printing and roll-to-roll manufacturing technologies. Our sensing materials have simultaneously several response mechanisms to complex gas atmospheres of ambient urban or industrial environments. This new ability of sensing materials allows excellent discrimination between gases of interest and numerous interferences. The key binding ingredient in these new sensors is our data analytics concepts that allow rejection of unwanted sensor artifacts at no extra hardware cost but rather utilizing elegant sensor-signal processing algorithms. Our sensing approach is attractive in numerous scenarios of wearable gas sensing when the use of “classic” analytical instruments would be prohibited by requirements of no consumables and unobtrusive or conformal sensor form factors.
  • 11:50am - 12:15pm Design Considerations in the Development of a Sensor–Based Flexible Gait Analysis Platform Rob Podoloff

Strideway is a modular, gait analysis platform featuring pressure sensitive tiles that can be field configured in lengths ranging from approximately 2 feet to over 16 feet in le


avatar for Roger Grace

Roger Grace

Founder & President, Roger Grace Associates
Roger H. Grace is president of Roger Grace Associates (RGA), a marketing consulting firm specializing in high technology, which he founded in 1982 in San Francisco, California. His background includes over 40 years in analog circuit design engineering, manufacturing engineering, application... Read More →

avatar for Alper Bozkurt

Alper Bozkurt

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State Univeristy
Alper Bozkurt is currently an Associate Professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. His recent research achievements on internet-of-bionics-things were covered by several media agencies including BBC, CNN, National Geographic... Read More →
avatar for Sywert Brongersma

Sywert Brongersma

Sr. Principal Researcher, imec / Holst Centre
avatar for Ahmed Busnaina

Ahmed Busnaina

Director of the NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, Northeastern University
Ahmed A. Busnaina, Ph.D. is the William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor, University Distinguished Professor, and founding Director of National Science Foundation’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing and the NSF Center for Nano and Microcontamination... Read More →
avatar for Susana Cardoso de Freitas

Susana Cardoso de Freitas

Group Leader, INESC Microsystems and Nanotechnologies (Portugal)
Susana Isabel Pinheiro Cardoso de Freitas received her Ph.D in Physics from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon) in 2002. Her thesis topic consisted on developing GMR and tunnel junctions materials for non-volatile memories and magnetic read head prototypes. Between 2002-2006, she... Read More →
avatar for Miguel Ridao Granado

Miguel Ridao Granado

CEO, Sensing Tex
Miguel Ridao Granado founded the company and became Chief Executive Officer in 2010. He served as the co-founder of three companies in the field of engineering and technology.  Holding over sixteen years of experience in the business of textile and electronic technology, Mr. Ridao... Read More →
avatar for Christine Kallmayer

Christine Kallmayer

Group Leader, Fraunhofer IZM

Anwar Mohammed

Senior Director, Flextronics
avatar for Jani Mäntyjärvi

Jani Mäntyjärvi

Dr, Docent, VTT
Jani is currently leading the research in Cyber-Physical Solutions at VTT. His work career consists of R&D positions in Finland and Europe. His research includes wellness & sports solutions focusing on novel technologies in wearables and data-analytics. He has published around 100... Read More →
avatar for Binu Baby Narakathu

Binu Baby Narakathu

Research Associate, Center for Advanced Smart Sensors and Structures (CASSS), Western Michigan University
avatar for Rob Podoloff

Rob Podoloff

Chief Technology Officer, Tekscan
avatar for Radislav Potyrailo

Radislav Potyrailo

Principal Scientist, GE Global Research
avatar for Jae Son

Jae Son

Founder and CEO, Pressure Profile Systems, Inc.
Dr. Son has been a research engineer and entrepreneur for over 20 years and has learned to bridge the gap between innovative technology and a successful business. After working in large corporate organizations such as Hughes Space and Comm., Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and General... Read More →
avatar for Jaye Tyler

Jaye Tyler

President & CEO, Si-Cal Technologies
Jaye Tyler is President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Si-Cal Technologies, Inc., which is A Nissha Company. In 2003, Mr. Tyler bought the company (Then known as Si-Cal) from the founders family and one outside stockholder as it was preparing to enter bankruptcy. After... Read More →
avatar for John Volakis

John Volakis

Chope Chair Professor, Ohio State University

Tuesday June 27, 2017 9:00am - 5:00pm PDT
Executive Ballroom B