Dr. Martin Kaltenbrunner
Johannes Kepler University

Soft Electronics

Location: EB1 Room 1011

Friday, January 20th 2017 - 11:00 am

Electronics of tomorrow will be imperceptible and will form a seamless link between soft, living beings and the digital world. Exploring the fundamental physics, mechanical form factors, and materials required to meet the needs of this new generation of soft electronics is driving multidisciplinary research worldwide. Weight, flexibility and conformability are pivotal for future wearable, soft and stretchable electronics to proliferate. The abilities to be imperceptible, epidermal, transient and self-healing are fueling the vision of autonomous smart appliances to be embedded everywhere, on textiles, on our skin, and even in our body.

This talk introduces a technology platform for the development of large-area, ultrathin and lightweight electronic and photonic devices, including solar cells[1,2], light emitting diodes[3] and photodetectors[4], active-matrix touch panels[5], implantable organic electronics[6,7], imperceptible electronic wraps[8] and "sixth-sense" magnetoception[9] in electronic skins. Air stable perovskite solar cells, only 3 µm thick, endure extreme mechanical deformation and have an unprecedented power output per weight of 23 W/g. Highly flexible, stretchable organic light emitting diodes are combined with photodetectors for on-skin photonics and pulse oximetry, providing electrical functionality in yet unexplored ways. Tactile sensor arrays based on active-matrix organic thin film transistors can be operated at elevated temperatures and in aqueous environments as an imperceptible sensing system that ensures the smallest possible discomfort for patients requiring medical care and monitoring. Combined with organic amplifiers and biocompatible conductive gels, we demonstrate in vivo recording of vital signals. E-skins with GMR-based magnetic field sensors equip the wearer with an unfamiliar sense that enables perceiving of and navigating in magnetic fields. These large area sensor networks build the framework for electronic foils and artificial sensor skins that are not only highly flexible but become highly stretchable and deployable when combined with engineered soft substrates such as elastomers or shape memory polymers. Future concepts include modular mobile health monitoring systems and smart, tissue-like hydrogel electronics and soft machines. Finally, strategies for solution-derived perovskite photonic sources for next-generation low-cost electronics will be discussed.

Martin Kaltenbrunner is an associate professor in the Soft Matter Physics Department at the Johannes Kepler University, Austria, and heads the Soft Electronics Laboratory. He received his master's and PhD degrees in physics from the Johannes Kepler University in 2008 and 2012, respectively. He then joined the Someya-Sekitani Lab for Organic Electronics at The University of Tokyo as postdoctoral researcher. Kaltenbrunner's current research interests include soft electronics and machines, photovoltaics, lightning and thin-film transistors, flexible and stretchable electronics, and electronic skin.

North Carolina State University