Page 09/08/2016 08:13:17

Decal electronics by Galo in Wiley's Adv. Mater. Tech.!

​​I was eagerly waiting for this paper to be out. Now, I do understand there will be many morons who will say it is not published in traditionally well respected venues because they try to get a feel of impact through the venue. It is a pity for those moronic “researchers” to not grasping the complexity of a scientific/engineering challenge, understanding the comprehension of a solution, admiring the creativity of the idea, its strength and future impact. Well, blind worshipping is human nature. That’s easy. That’s status quo. Difficult is to rise above that. To be the change. So, what change we made in this paper?


For more than a decade it has been a dream to print electronics on soft substrates (plastic, paper, textiles, etc.). There are some advances being made. However, heart and lung of any advanced electronic system are its data processing and communication units. The performance, functionality and reliability we need from them, can only be best obtained using silicon (100) or its sister materials. However, they are all rigid and bulky. Therefore, they fundamentally limit the objective of flexibility and stretchability (as a stretched goal). Over the last few years, we have developed and mastered the process of flexing perfect but rigid silicon (100) [specially bulk, because a high scho​oler can even flex a SOI] based electronics. Also, 90% of the electronics today are made with bulk mono-crystalline silicon (100). However, rigid materials are flexed by volumetric loss of materials – making them fragile. Therefore, in this paper we solved three fundamental challenges:


1.       Packaging such fragile but flexible silicon and otherwise rigid materials based high performance electronics using 3D printing technology to have decal electronics.

2.       We interconnected such discrete flexible but fragile electronics. Imagine the difficulty associated with bonding of large fan out (64 pins or above) based flexible but fragile ICs on soft substrates. Neither one has sufficient contact space nor strength in any of the materials to withstand bonding without breaking and/or misalignment. The smaller the IC, the more difficult the challenge is. [By the way, most morons do not even understand what is fan out]

3.       Using roll-to-roll printing, we then screen printed such high performance decal electronics on soft substrates in high volume.


Well, they all sound interesting but how they change our life (which is our goal for next 10 years)? Take two examples:


a.       Concept of Internet of Everything (IoE) lies within the fact that how any object that we see today can be smartized. Well, using what we showed we can stick decal electronic systems to them like previous RFID tags but with much more functionalities and performance.

b.      Today in a traditional electronic lab setup, we get blind looking for an IC where they all look same. We show that every IC can have a face, a shape, a size – an identity. Instead of placing them on breadboard or PCB, one can place them on any substrate and then draw wire connections as one wants and can see a whole system is built.


Easy to learn, simple to implement electronics will empower more and more of world population and that’s how we dream of democratizing electronics. Morons don’t get that – who cares? Because there will be day when they will be the most beneficiary of the dreams we will realize for all of us. By name calling them we sometimes exhaust our frustration – please don’t get offended.


Galo et al. – hearty congratulations!


Decal Electronics: Printable Packaged With 3D Printing High-Performance Flexible CMOS Electronic Systems



Galo A. Torres Sevilla, Marlon D. Cordero, Joanna M. Nassar, Amir N. Hanna, Arwa T. Kutbee, Arpys Arevalo and Muhammad M. Hussain* 


For nearly two decades organic molecular solution-based printing technology has attracted researchers as a low-cost alternative to print electronics on soft substrates (polymer, cellulose papers, textiles, etc.). However, due to limited mobility, thermal instability, and integration complexity, such electronic do not complement the functionalities performed by rigid and bulky traditional thin film like silicon, silicon germanium, gallium nitride and other III-V materials based electronics. Rigidity and bulkiness make the later type of electronics unsuitable for printing on soft substrates. Therefore, here we show, comprehensive integration strategy by using complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) based technology to flex thin film based electronics on silicon, and then to package them using 3D printing and finally print such packaged decal electronics on soft substrates enabling high volume manufacturing. Up to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such packaged decal high-performance silicon-based electronics are shown in printable fashion.