The field of printed and flexible electronics is enjoying growth, as new applications and technologies emerge. FlexTech Alliance, which is exclusively devoted to fostering the growth, profitability and success of the electronic display and flexible, printed electronics supply chain, continues to partner with companies in developing these new opportunities, as well as hosting its annual Flexible and Printed Electronics Conference and Exhibition.

This year, the 2013 Flexible and Printed Electronics Conference and Exhibition will be held from Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at the Phoenix Convention Center, a much larger venue than in previous years, signifying the growth of the conference.

“The Flex Conference, now in its 12th year, is moving to the Phoenix, AZ Convention Center to accommodate its continuous growth,” said FlexTech Alliance CEO Mike Ciesinski. “FlexTech experiences a significant return rate of participants, which we attribute to the quality of presentations, high business development and technical content, and the superb networking atmosphere that has long characterized the Flex Conference. The new venue builds on prior success by providing technologically advanced amenities in a vibrant downtown location. Consequently, attendees will be able to engage with more suppliers, customers and partners than previous conferences.

“The 2012 event experienced a 20% increase in attendance and 30% increase in exhibits,”  Ciesinski added. “We are pleased that early registration data is confirming a positive trend once again. FlexTech Alliance’s objective is to consistently deliver the best aspects of prior conferences – including high quality business and technical content, and ample networking opportunities – now in an easy to access metropolitan setting.” Ciesinski noted that the 2013 Flex Conference will feature products resulting from collaboration among industry, academia and government, as well as traditional emphasis on new flexible, printed electronics materials, tools and processes.

“All will be showcased throughout the keynote talks, technical presentations and exhibition hall,”  Ciesinski added.

Ciesinski noted that the 2013 Flex Conference will cover all aspects of printed electronics, from 3D functional printing to ink jet, R2R and screen printed electronics, including two full sessions dedicated to printing.

“In addition to these presentations, there are many others discussing carbon nanotubes, conductive inks and flexible substrates throughout the technical program,” Ciesinski added. “Attendees will see how they all fit together to create printed memories, sensors and CMOS circuits. Successful implementations by PARC, Thin Film Electronics, UC Berkeley and General Electric will be featured.”

The conference begins Tuesday, Jan. 29, with a workshop and a pair of afternoon short courses. “The 2013 Flex Conference short courses and workshop mirror the industry’s maturity,”  Ciesinski said. “At prior conferences we hosted courses in the basic building blocks of printed electronics and their primary applications. This year, three sessions are being offered pre-conference to provide a basis for the technical information provided later in the week.”

The workshop, “Printed Electronics Meets Consumer Product Companies,” is a look at how consumer product companies (CPCs) take advantage of printed electronics and other functional devices to fully engage consumers, establish more brand loyalty, enhance the sales experience, provide package integrity and security and drive repeat sales.

Speakers include Dr. Xiaoying Rong, professor, Graphic Communication & Printed Electronics, Cal Poly; Dr. Chip Tonkin, director, Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design & Graphics, Clemson University; and Colleen Twomey, assistant professor, Graphic Communication, Cal Poly. In addition, brand managers from Diageo, Hasbro and Kimberly Clark have been invited to offer their insights at the workshop.

The first short course, “OLED Thin Film Barrier & Encapsulation Technology,” will be led by Lorenza Moro, senior R&D manager, Samsung Cheil Industries; Eric R. Dickey, president, Lotus Applied Technology LLC; Sheila Hamilton, technical director, Teknek Ltd.; and Lawrence Gasman, co-founder and principal analyst, NanoMarkets.

The second short course, “Photonic Curing: Hands-On Methods and Applications,” will be presented by Dr. Dave Pope, director of printing technology, NovaCentrix and Andrew Edd, applications engineer, NovaCentrix. There will also be a pair of tours of the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University and a golf outing at Club West Golf Club. The conference opens on Wednesday, Jan. 30 with four sessions.

The first session begins with Ciesinski, followed by Dr. David Edwards, retired chief technical officer of Avery Dennison, who will discuss “Innovation Beyond the Core. Dr. Monica K. Davis, EMD Chemicals, will cover “Organic Photovoltaic and Organic Sensor Materials at EMD Chemicals – Making the Future Flexible,” and Dr. Bill MacDonald, DuPont Teijin Films, will discuss “Polyester Film Substrates for the Flexible Electronics Industry – An Overview and Where Next.”

OLEDs and lighting are the focus of the second session. Ted Tohma, a consultant, opens the second session with “The Advantages and Challenges of OLED – From Launching the First OLED to Today.” Dr. Takuya Komoda, Panasonic Corporation, follows with his talk on “High Quality White OLED for Lighting Application.”

Dr. Mike Hack, Universal Display Corporation, will analyze “Opportunities for Flexible OLEDs,” and Keith Cook, Philips Lighting, will discuss “Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance.

After lunch, Session 3 will feature Dr. Janos Veres, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), who will offer his insights into “Creating the Future of Printed Electronics.” Dr. Veres will be followed by Dr. Davor Sutija of ThinFilm Electronics ASA. Dr. Kevin Dowling, MC10, will cover “Reshaping Electronics for the Human Body,” while “Flexible Choices” will be presented by David Barnes, BizWitz LLC.

Session 4 closes the Jan. 30 talks, beginning with “Printable Spacecraft: NASA Applications for Flexible Electronics,” presented by Kendra Short, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Richard Vaia, Air Force Research Lab, follows with “NanoBio Manufacturing of Flex Devices for Aerospace.”

Dr. S. V. Sreenivasan, University of Texas at Austin, will discuss “Inkjet Based Roll to Roll Nanoimprint Process and Applications.” Andy Hannah, Plextronics, Inc. and OE-A, will offer his insights into “Building a Global Network for the Printed Electronics Industry,” and Indro Mukerjee, Plastic Logic, will close Session 4 with “Transforming a Science Project into Industrial Reality.”

The conference expands into concurrent tracks on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Session 5, which covers printing, features talks by Dr. Jonathan Halls of Solar Press; Dr. Chip Tonkin, of Clemson University; Dr. Christopher Landorf of Brewer Science, Inc.; Dr. Harri Kopola of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland; Dr. Jonathan Melnick, Lux Research; and Dr. Dania Alsaid, Western Michigan University.

Session 6: OPV and Lighting, has talks by Dr. Jan Blochwitz-Nimoth, Novaled AG; Dr. Bernard Kippelen, Georgia Institute of Technology; Dr. Vishal Shrotriya, Solarmer Energy, Inc.; Thomas Kolbusch, Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH; Dr. Florian Pschenitzka, Cambrios Technologies; and Dr. Lu Li, University of California, Los Angeles.

Session 7, Novel Display Technology,” will offer talks by Dr. Peter Fischer, Plastic Logic; Dr. Michael McCreary, E Ink; Dr. Juergen Rawert, LIM Liquids in Motion GmbH; Dr. Andre Arsenault, Opalux Inc.; Sweta Dash, IHS; and Dr. Nizamidin Jappar, Kimoto Tech Inc. Session 8, Circuits & System Applications, features Dr. Michael Durstock, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Dr. Christer Karlsson, Thin Film Electronics ASA; Dr. Gregory Whiting, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC); Dr. Romain Coppard, CEA-LITEN; Doug Hackler, American Semiconductor, Inc.; Dr. Kate Duncan, ARMY STCD; and Richard Chaney, American Semiconductor, Inc.

Four sessions follow after lunch. Session 9, covering Biometric & Medical Sensors, includes presentations by Dr. Joshua Hagen, Air Force Research Laboratory; John (Ivo) Stivoric, BodyMedia; Dr. Ana Claudia Arias, University of California, Berkeley; Jeffrey Ashe, General Electric Global Research; Dr. John Bell, Physical Optics Corporation; and Michael Corbett, WEEL Technologies.

Session 10, Printing 2, includes insights from Dr. Tim Claypole, WCPC, Swansea University; Dr. John Summers, DuPont Electronics and Communications; Tim Luong, FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc.; Dr. John Belot, Liquid-X Printed Metals; James Zunino, U.S. Army Armaments Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC); and Dr. Robert Detig, Electrox.

Barriers, the focus of Session 11, includes talks by Dr. Ton van Mol, Holst Centre; Brad Aitchison, Beneq Oy; Dr. Stefano Tominetti, SAES Getters S.p.A. Italy; Dr. Ravi Prasad, Vitriflex, Inc. Session 12, Materials, includes presentations by Dr. Antonio Facchetti, Polyera Corporation; Dr. Christopher Soles, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Dr. Christopher Ober, Cornell University; Dr. Jim DiBattista, Darly Custom Technology; Dr. Robert Fleming, Shocking Technologies; and Dr. Sujatha Remunujan. The Industry Dinner and FLEXI Awards Ceremony follows the Jan. 31 sessions.

Six more sessions are on tap for Feb. 1. Session, 13, which covers Sensors, features Dr. David Schwartz, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC); Dr. Liyong (Alex) Diao, Brewer Science; Gerry Seidman, Tactonic Technologies; Georgios C. Dogiamis, University Duisburg Essen – Fraunhofer Institute IMS, Duisburg; and Dr. Chuan-Jian Zhong, Binghamton University.

Session 14: Oxide TFTs, includes talks by Dr. Apostolos (Tolis) Voustas, Sharp Labs of America, Inc.; Dr. Yoon-Hoon Kim, Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI); Robert Alston, North Carolina A&T State University; Dr. Jagan Singh Meena, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (ROC); and Tobias Stolley, Applied Materials. Session 15 looks at Transparent Conductors, with talks by Dr. Mike Spaid, Cambrios Technologies; Dr. Bruce Kahn, Clemson University; Dr. Ron Lubianez, Heraeus Precious Metals North America Conshohocken LLC; Dr. Jihoon Kim, Kongju National University, Korea; Dr. Sian Fogden, Linde Nanomaterials; David Schroder, Blue Nano; and Dr. Harry Zervos, IDTechEx. Session 16 covers OTFT & Novel Devices, with talks by Dr. Keon Jae Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); Dr. Gang Li, University of California, Los Angeles; John Rudin, Hewlett Packard Laboratories; Dr. Jagan Singh Meena, National Chiao Tung University, Tawiwan (ROC); Dr. Kosmas Galatsis, SWeNT and University of California, Los Angeles; and Dr. Ioannis Kymissis, Columbia University. After lunch, the conference concludes with two sessions.

Session 17, Flexible Glass, features Dr. Sean Garner, Corning Inc.; Dr. Lili Tian, Corning Inc.; Dr. Murat Okandan, Sandia National Laboratories; Dr. Andrew Steckl, University of Cincinnati; and Chien-Yi Peng, Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP). Session 18, Manufacturing Processes, offers analysis by Dr. Jim Watkins, University of Massachusetts; Dr. Tolga Kurtoglu, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC); Rory Wolf, Enercon Industries; Mark Wegner, Northfield Automation Systems; Dr. Qiongying Hu, Coherent, Inc.; Stan Farnsworth, NovaCentrix; and Juergen Kreis, Aixtron.

All in all, Ciesinski said he is excited about the growth of the printed electronics industry.

“FlexTech’s conference, workshops and webinars drew record attendance throughout 2012, with participants from Nike, Under Armour, Reebok, HP, Intel, Applied Materials, Corning, DuPont Teijin Films and many other consumer product, electronics, and supply chain companies,” Ciesinski said. “That’s indicative of growing acceptance of PE and a desire to both drive and share in the market growth. We believe that the 2013 Flex Conference will provide a stellar start to 2013.”
By David Savastano, Editor | January 2, 2013
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