Raj Bhakta - Direct-write printed electronics on textiles: A paradigm for automated textile electronics

Session 22: Direct Write

Direct-write printed electronics on textile: A paradigm for automated textile electronics
Thursday, June 22, 2017 
11:20 AM - 11:40 AM

Textiles provide a broad range of applications in electronics, particularly as a platform for integrating sensors and displays. A large driver for this momentum is wearable technology for fitness and health applications, as well as home textiles for internet-of-things (IoT) connectivity. Current materials methods, such as the use of conductive yarns, are limited in the ability to manufacture at large scale and breadth of materials function. Printed electronics offers an alternative technology roadmap for textile electronics.

Our direct-write process allows us to print interconnects and other devices onto textiles by varying dispense velocity and fluid pressure. It allows for commercially available screen-printable inks to be used with minimal ink waste, minimal post-process clean up, and design flexibility through software driven designs. Ink penetration into the textile can also be controlled using this process by increasing the fluid pressure. This allows for electrical vias to be made easily, leading to devices such as true printed circuit boards on textiles. We have made devices such as printed heaters, printed circuit boards, printed antennas, interconnects, and sensors. Our print speeds for the direct-write process are 10x faster than what is seen in the academic and patent literature. This new process allows for rapid prototyping of large area electronics on textiles and interface films. It can also print directly on textiles with or without interface materials. This technology presents a new manufacturing paradigm for printed electronics on textiles, increasing the use-cases for textile electronics devices.


Speaker's Biography

Creativity + Innovation + Invention + Entrepreneurship = Threads of the fabric

I wear I am currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University in the Textiles Engineering department. I am interested in integrating sensors and circuitry onto textile platforms for wearable applications. My main focus is on electronic-textiles and printed electronics at the moment. My ambition is to develop disruptive technology that brings the textiles industry to the computing age. There is an incredible untapped potential for making textiles the next platform for computing. I aim to solve some of the issues with bringing computing to textiles in a low-cost, scalable, and seamless fashion.

I am also interested in learning and participating in entrepreneurship that progresses humanity as a whole through science and technology. I am a passionate learner who strives to follow the path of science to one day lead discovery.

My research style: Science and engineering are tools to solve real-world problems. As such, I utilize voice-of-customer analysis to drive my research and product development forward to create stakeholder value and win-win outcomes. This approach adds value to the academic space through knowledge-creation and adds value to stakeholders by creating intellectual property.


Raj Bhakta
North Carolina State University, ASSIST Research Center