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Two University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty members, Assistant Professor Siddhartha Das and Jeong H. Kim Professor Abhijit Dasgupta, are part of new research team that recently received funding through a NextFlex award for their project “Conformal Printing of Conductor and Dielectric Materials on Complex 3-D Surfaces.”

NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, announced the award as one of five awards totaling more than $10.5 million dollars in funding they are overseeing for the further development of flexible hybrid electronics (FHEs). According to the Nextflex website, “FHE exists at the intersection of printed circuity, passive devices and sensors and thin, flexible silicon chips. The result is a new class of lightweight, affordable, flexible, stretchable, conformable, reliable and efficient devices.”

Das and Dasgupta’s project is being led by Lockheed Martin and includes other partners from Binghamton University, General Electric Company, Optomec and Intrinsiq Materials. Their project will enable 3-D conformal electronics by advancing tooling, processes and software to deposit functional materials on complex 3-D geometries.

According to Das, there are three key tasks to accomplish. He is responsible for thermo-fluid analysis of the aerosol jet printing process and use of the Scrypt 3-D printer to carry out printing of electronics on complex 3-D surfaces. Dasgupta will be responsible for the modeling and stress testing to assess the reliability of the printed electronics. In addition, this new research project will employ two graduate students and one post-doctoral researcher at Maryland.

Das said, “Through these activities, we shall contribute to the overall goal of the project, delivering conformal sensors, 3-D antenna structures and non-planar routing demonstrators.”



May 23, 2017


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