December 9, 2011 — Printed electronics materials and equipment suppliers, as well as academics and industry, were honored with annual awards at the IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA 2011 in Santa Clara, CA.
Judging panel: Professor Malcolm Keif, California Polytechnic State University Prof Yang Yang, UCLA – University of California, Los Angeles Joshua Windmiller, University of California, San Diego
Best Technical Development Manufacturing Award – Coatema
Coatema’s Smartcoater is a roll-to-roll (R2R) lab unit with a working width starting at 100mm and a wide range of coating applications and production speed. Complex products can be produced with a minimum use of substrate and chemistry. The base unit offers a 5-in-1 coating module including slot die, knife, dipping, micro-roller and engraved roller application functions. There is no need to purchase individual modules for each of these applications. In addition other modules are being added rapidly including: screen printing; flexo printing; UV spraying and others necessary for producing all layers of a product.
Best Technical Development Materials Award – Opalux Inc.
Opalux develops active photonic crystal materials addressed by stimuli such as pressure, heat, shear and chemical activation to effect a color change. Photonic Ink (P-Ink) — the award-winning material — is electrically tuned to reflect any desired spectral color and can also be tuned to provide UV and IR reflection. Activation at voltages of less than 1.5V and microampere currents gives bright, highly saturated and bistable color states that can be switched at high speeds. The power and current requirements are compatible with standard consumer electronics devices.
Academic R&D Award – Stevens Institute of Technology and US Army ARDEC
A team of researchers from Stevens Institute of Technology and US Army ARDEC have been exploring the evaporative assembly of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets during inkjet printing, as a transformative means of producing 2D and 3D graphene micropatterns for a variety of flexible electronics applications. The ability of producing graphene oxide supercapacitor electrodes by inkjet printing and subsequent thermal reduction was demonstrated by the researchers. This approach provides a scalable manufacturing platform to fabricate economically viable supercapacitor electrodes particularly for miniaturized flexible supercapacitor applications.
Best Product Development Award – Vorbeck and MWV
Vorbeck and MeadWestvaco (MWV) won this award for the new anti-theft retail package product. Vorbeck’s Vor-ink has provided the enabling technology for the development of the MWV package product. This new printed graphene ink technology, called Siren, is part of MWV’s Natralock product line, and will be on store shelves at major retailers including Home Depot in early 2012.
Best Commercialization Award – Peratech
Peratech is the inventor of Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) technology. QTC’s are electro-active polymeric materials made from metallic or non-metallic filler particles combined in an elastomeric binder. These enable the action of ‘touch’ to be translated into an electrical reaction, enabling a vast array of devices to incorporate very thin and highly robust ‘sensing’ of touch and pressure. QTC’s unique properties enable it to be made into force sensitive switches of any shape or size. QTC switches and switch matrices can be screen printed allowing for development and integration of switches that are as thin as 75um. Peratech uses IP licensing to commercialize the technology, researching and tailoring it for a customer, then licensing the solution along with supplying the required form of QTC. The first major successes are two license deals worth several million dollars.
Exhibitor awards also went to Novacentrix and PST Sensors (voted by attendees). Printed Electronics USA attendees also named the best poster, created by Stéphanie Dupont, PhD Candidate Materials Sc&Eng., Stanford University.
The next IDTechEx Printed Electronics awards will be held at the European event, in Berlin, Germany on 3-4 April 2012. For more details see www.IDTechEx.com/peEUROPE.