Advancement of Prototyping and Fabrication Techniques for Active Sensors and Microelectronics
J.L. Zunino, D.R. Skelton
U.S. Army ARDEC, US
Keywords: MEMS, sensors, nano-inks, prototyping
Abstract:U.S. Army ARDEC is developing the ability to custom design and integrate novel technologies into functional systems for the creation and advancement of active systems. This research being performed will directly and indirectly support the warfighter and allow the DOD to remain in the forefront of active systems technologies. Several military programs are developing flexible electronic capabilities for sensing, communication, data collection/storage, and power. Using nano-inks on various substrates will allow one to develop numerous types of active systems and microelectronics. Several different fabrication and manufacturing techniques are used to develop such systems. Besides techniques common to the development of microelectronics, MEMS, and the like, the development of nano-inks and related materials printing techniques will revolutionize the development of active systems, electronics, and other custom devices. The shift from typical micro-fabrication processes, cleanrooms or similar environments, to a material printing process greatly reduces the time and cost associated with device development. Using novel inks and nano-materials on various substrates has allowed ARDEC to develop several active systems. Some of the sensing capabilities include temperature, damage, scratch, flow, pressure, strain, impact, shock, pH, humidity, chemical / biological agent detection, and acoustics. Other sensors’ capabilities are under development. With the development of new inks and designs, other sensors, displays, and power sources are feasible.