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Joint R&D conducted by CEA Tech institute Liten, chemical-industry leader Arkema, and Arkema subsidiary Piezotech won an Innovation Award at TechConnect World 2016. The award recognized the partners' growing knowledge of printed electronics.
Arkema and Liten have been working together since 2012 to develop and enhance electroactive inks for electronics printed on flexible substrates. Initially, the partners formulated a ferroelectric copolymer ink suitable for a variety of deposition techniques, including screen printing. The ink's ferroelectric properties were similar to those of conventional materials, making it possible to print memory components, piezoelectric and pyroelectric sensors, and acoustical transducers.
But the true innovation was the formulation of inks made from a "relaxor terpolymer" offering very attractive electrostrictive properties.
The potential uses for these inks are vast, ranging from human-machine interfaces, IoT, and energy harvesting to touch-sensation haptic feedback systems. In other news, Arkema and Liten are still working together on inks under the EU-funded Happiness project.
The systems developed under the joint R&D will expand Liten's portfolio of printed components (transistors, photodiodes, temperature sensors, passive components, antennas, and biosensors), which the institute has been developing since 2007. And Arkema, through its Piezotech subsidiary, will leverage the research to take over the pole position on the printable inks market.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.