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Integration of f-MWCNT Sensor and Printed Circuits on Paper Substrate
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Electronic Systems. KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Centres, VinnExcellence Center for Intelligence in Paper and Packaging, iPACK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0528-9371
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Electronic Systems. KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Centres, VinnExcellence Center for Intelligence in Paper and Packaging, iPACK.
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Electronic Systems. KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Centres, VinnExcellence Center for Intelligence in Paper and Packaging, iPACK.
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2013 (English)In: IEEE Sensors Journal, ISSN 1530-437X, E-ISSN 1558-1748, Vol. 13, no 10, 3948-3956 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The integration of sensors endows the packages with intelligence and interactivity. This paper is considered the most suitable substrate of smart packages because it is cost-effective, light, flexible, and recyclable. However, common concern exists regarding the reliability of paper-based system against bending and folding. In this paper, inkjet-printing of silver nanoparticles is used to form circuit pattern as well as interconnections for system integration on paper substrate. A humidity sensor made by functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes is fabricated on the same substrate. We evaluate the electrical performance of paper electronics and the reliability against bending and folding. The results reveal the capability and the limitation of paper electronics in terms of flexibility. The concept of a paper-based smart electronic system and the manufacture process are demonstrated by an interactive humidity sensor card prototype.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 13, no 10, 3948-3956 p.
Keyword [en]
Heterogeneous system, paper electronics, inkjet printing, f-MWCNTs-based humidity sensor, smart packages
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-129608DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2013.2260534ISI: 000324253700011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84883819807OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-129608DiVA: diva2:653496
Funder
VinnovaEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 243557 FP7-SME-2008-2
Note

QC 20131004

Available from: 2013-10-04 Created: 2013-10-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Heterogeneous Integration of Silicon and Printed Electronics for Intelligente Sensing Devices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heterogeneous Integration of Silicon and Printed Electronics for Intelligente Sensing Devices
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Driven by the exploding popularity of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), the demand for thin, flexible, lightweight intelligent sensingdevices is growing rapidly. Two attractive examples are intelligent packaging and wearable healthcare monitoring devices, which help to connect and track / monitor everything / everybody at any time and in any place. The remarkably swift development of flexible and printed electronics is promoting new possibilities for cost-effective manufacturing of such devices. However, compared with silicon-based circuits, state-of-the-art all-printed circuits are encountering low integration density, long switching time and corresponding high cost per function. Therefore, a heterogeneous platform is in great demand, which employs a cost-effective, large-area manufacturing technique while keeping the same complex functionality and processing capability as silicon-based systems. Due to temperature and mechanical reasons, traditional silicon integration methods, such as solder bonding and wire bonding, are not suitable for flexible printed electronics. This thesis aims to develop a generally applicable hetero-geneous integration platform for the realization of intelligent sensing devices on flexible substrates.

First, inkjet printing technique is introduced and studied. As the basic and key element, inkjet printing technology is employed to fabricate interconnections as well as electrodes of the printed sensors. Novel flexible media, plastic and paper, are evaluated as the substrates of printed electronic systems from two aspects: the electrical characteristics and performance reliability. In addition to widely used inkjet/photo paper, packaging paper is presented as a promising candidate for intelligent packaging applications due to the advantages in terms of lower price, higher temperature endurance and better reliability against 85◦/85% RH aging.

Second, the heterogeneous integration platform enabled byinkjet printing is presented. Benefiting from the non-contact, accurate alignment and fine resolution features, this integration technique has the advantages of simplified fabrication process and multi-substrate compatibility. The design rules have been studied and the integration process is optimized for silicon chips with/without packaging.

Finally, to verify the suitability, the heterogeneous integration platform is applied to two representative applications, each with unique emphasis and requirements.

For intelligent packaging, low-cost is one crucial requirement. Paper substrate is selected because it is cost-effective, recyclableand a commonly-used packaging material in industry. In order to fit into non-regular shape pack-ages, the intelligent packaging needs to be bent or folded, which brings about reliability concern for paper electronics. Therefore, bending and folding tests are applied to reveal the capability and the limitation of paper electronics in terms of flexibility. For applications such as fresh food tracking, humidity is an important physical quantity to monitor during transportation and storage. Therefore, a resistive humidity sensor based on multi-walled carbon nanotubes is fabricated and integrated. A commercial packaged microcontroller is used to sense and store the resistance of the sensor and control the LEDs to indicate the ambient humidity level. By integratingthe microcon-troller, LEDs and a switch with the printed sensor and battery, a prototype of a paper-based humidity sensor card is implemented.

For the healthcare application, user comfort is an essential element. Future long-term healthcare devices require a bio-sensing system which is small, thin, lightweight and wearable, has a long-battery life, and is easy to customize. The heterogeneous platform offers a promising solution for such systems from three aspects. 1) A fully integrated system-on-chip (SoC) is embedded to detect and process the bio-signal. The SoC solution features tiny size and low-power consumption, which contribute to system miniaturization and long battery lifetime. 2) Inkjet printing offers a cost-effective approach to fabricate personalized electrodes. 3) Inkjet printed interconnections enable the direct integration of the bare die instead of the packaged chip. This significantly reduces the physical size of the system, simplifies the manufacture process and lowers the cost. The concept is demonstrated by aminiaturized wearable Bio-Patch with the size of 4.5 cm×2.5 cm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. v, 61 p.
Series
TRITA-ICT-ECS AVH, ISSN 1653-6363 ; 14:05
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-142920 (URN)978-91-7595-033-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-28, Sal/Hall D, KTH-ICT, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140314

Available from: 2014-03-14 Created: 2014-03-13 Last updated: 2014-03-14Bibliographically approved
2. Printed RFID Humidity Sensor Tags for Flexible Smart Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Printed RFID Humidity Sensor Tags for Flexible Smart Systems
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Radio frequency identification (RFID) and sensing are two key technologies enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). Development of RFID tags augmented with sensing capabilities (RFID sensor tags) would allow a variety of new applications, leading to a new paradigm of the IoT. Chipless RFID sensor technology offers a low-cost solution by eliminating the need of an integrated circuit (IC) chip, and is hence highly desired for many applications. On the other hand, printing technologies have revolutionized the world of electronics, enabling cost-effective manufacturing of large-area and flexible electronics. By means of printing technologies, chipless RFID sensor tags could be made flexible and lightweight at a very low cost, lending themselves to the realization of ubiquitous intelligence in the IoT era.

This thesis investigated three construction methods of printable chipless RFID humidity sensor tags, with focus on the incorporation of the sensing function. In the first method, wireless sensing based on backscatter modulation was separately realized by loading an antenna with a humidity-sensing resistor. An RFID sensor tag could then be constructed by combining the wireless sensor with a chipless RFID tag. In the second method, a chipless RFID sensor tag was built up by introducing a delay line between the antenna and the resistor. Based on time-domain reflectometry (TDR), the tag encoded ID in the delay time between its structural-mode and antenna-mode scattering pulse, and performed the sensing function by modulating the amplitude of the antenna-mode pulse.

In both of the above methods, a resistive-type humidity-sensing material was required. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) presented themselves as promising candidate due to their outstanding electrical, structural and mechanical properties. MWCNTs functionalized (f-MWCNTs) by acid treatment demonstrated high sensitivity and fast response to relative humidity (RH), owing to the presence of carboxylic acid groups. The f-MWCNTs also exhibited superior mechanical flexibility, as their resistance and sensitivity remained almost stable under either tensile or compressive stress. Moreover, an inkjet printing process was developed for the f-MWCNTs starting from ink formulation to device fabrication. By applying the f-MWCNTs, a flexible humidity sensor based on backscatter modulation was thereby presented. The operating frequency range of the sensor was significantly enhanced by adjusting the parasitic capacitance in the f-MWCNTs resistor. A fully-printed time-coded chipless RFID humidity sensor tag was also demonstrated. In addition, a multi-parameter sensor based on TDR was proposed.The sensor concept was verified by theoretical analysis and circuit simulation.

In the third method, frequency-spectrum signature was utilized considering its advantages such as coding capacity, miniaturization, and immunity to noise. As signal collision problem is inherently challenging in chipless RFID sensor systems, short-range identification and sensing applications are believed to embody the core values of the chipless RFID sensor technology. Therefore a chipless RFID humidity sensor tag based on near-field inductive coupling was proposed. The tag was composed of two planar inductor-capacitor (LC) resonators, one for identification, and the other one for sensing. Moreover, paper was proposed to serve as humidity-sensing substrate for the sensor resonator on accounts of its porous and absorptive features.

Both inkjet paper and ordinary packaging paper were studied. A commercial UV-coated packaging paper was proven to be a viable and more robust alternative to expensive inkjet paper as substrate for inkjet-printed metal conductors. The LC resonators printed on paper substrates showed excellent sensitivity and reasonable response time to humidity in terms of resonant frequency. Particularly, the resonator printed on the UV-coated packaging paper exhibited the largest sensitivity from 20% to 70% RH, demonstrating the possibilities of directly printing the sensor tag on traditional packages to realize intelligent packaging at an ultra-low cost.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. xviii, 81 p.
Series
TRITA-ICT-ECS AVH, ISSN 1653-6363 ; 15:03
Keyword
Intelligent packaging, humidity sensor, wireless sensor, chipless RFID, multi-walled carbon nanotube, inkjet printing, LC resonator, paper electronics, flexible electronics.
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-162152 (URN)978-91-7595-474-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-04-17, Sal B, Isafjordsgatan 26, Electrum 229, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
VINNOVA
Note

QC 20150326

Available from: 2015-03-26 Created: 2015-03-23 Last updated: 2015-03-26Bibliographically approved

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