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Printed electronics: first-ever active matrix

​For the first time ever, a 256-pixel active matrix was printed at the PICTIC platform at Liten, a CEA Tech institute. This is the first-ever system-level demonstrator and it confirms the potential of printed electronics for industrial-scale manufacturing to equip tomorrow's high-tech devices.

Published on 3 April 2018

For the first time ever, a 256-pixel active matrix (in other words, each of the 256 individual sensors is run by its own transistor) was printed at PICTIC, Liten's platform for printed components for ICTs and sensors. This is the first matrix prototype representative of a product that integrates the electronic addressing functions and the 256 printed sensors.

The major technical advance is the process: a series of around ten steps are completed sequentially using a gravure printing technique for the transistors, and then screen printing for the sensors. The researchers obtained good reproducibility and yields, resulting in a matrix with 256 functional pixels at a 5-mm pitch.

Electronics can be printed on large surfaces at a low cost. Here, light sensors (photodiodes) and pressure sensors (resistive strain gauges) were printed. The excellent results obtained will pave the way toward the creation of large surfaces with smart capabilities, such as for human-machine interfaces and structural monitoring (mechanical parts, aircraft wings, civil engineering works, etc.), for example. The researchers are now trying to make the matrixes even larger and reduce the sizes of the components to achieve better resolutions.

*In an active matrix each pixel can be selected individually because it has its own transistor

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