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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K03099X/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large Area Electronics
Principal Investigator: Rider, Mr C
Other Investigators:
Claypole, Professor T Gethin, Professor DT Williams, Professor R
Holmes, Professor A Stavrinou, Dr P Anthopoulos, Professor T
Curtis, Dr DJ Nathan, Professor A Persaud, Professor KC
Bradley, Professor DD Turner, Professor ML Yeates, Professor SG
Sirringhaus, Professor H Flewitt, Professor AJ Stingelin, Professor N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
3M United Kingdom Plc Cambridge Display Technology Ltd (CDT) Centre for Process Innovation Limited
De La Rue Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Dow Corning Ltd (UK)
Eight19 Ltd Merck & Co., Inc. (Sharp & Dohme (MSD)) Molecular Vision
National Physical Laboratory Nokia Oxford Lasers Ltd
Plastic Logic Ltd Pragmatic Semiconductor Limited RK Print Coat Instruments Ltd
SABMiller plc Solvay Group (UK) SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Ctr
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2013 Ends: 28 June 2019 Value (£): 5,597,150
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electronic Devices & Subsys. Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Feb 2013 EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Large-Area Electronics is a branch of electronics in which functionality is distributed over large-areas, much bigger than the dimensions of a typical circuit board. Recently, it has become possible to manufacture electronic devices and circuits using a solution-based approach in which a "palette" of functional "inks" is printed on flexible webs to create the multi-layered patterns required to build up devices. This approach is very different from the fabrication and assembly of conventional silicon-based electronics and offers the benefits of lower-cost manufacturing plants that can operate with reduced waste and power consumption, producing electronic systems in high volume with new form factors and features. Examples of "printed devices" include new kinds of photovoltaics, lighting, displays, sensing systems and intelligent objects. We use the term "large-area electronics" (LAE) rather than "printable electronics" because many electronic systems require both conventional and printed electronics, benefitting from the high performance of the conventional and the ability of the printable to create functionality over large-areas cost-effectively. Great progress has been made over the last 20 years in producing new printable functional materials with suitable performance and stability in operation but despite this promise, the emerging industry has been slow to take-off, due in part to (i) manufacturing scale-up being significantly more challenging than expected and (ii) the current inability to produce complete multifunctional electronic systems as required in several early markets, such as brand enhancement and intelligent packaging. Our proposed Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics will tackle these challenges to support the emergence of a vibrant UK manufacturing industry in the sector. Our vision has four key elements:

- to address the technical challenges of low-cost manufacturing of multi-functional LAE systems

- to develop a long-term research programme in advanced manufacturing processes aimed at ongoing reduction in manufacturing cost and improvement in system performance.

- to support the scale-up of technologies and processes developed in and with the Centre by UK manufacturing industry

- to promote the adoption of LAE technologies by the wider UK electronics manufacturing industry

Our Centre for Innovative Manufacturing brings together 4 UK academic Centres of Excellence in LAE at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre, CIKC), Imperial College London (Centre for Plastic Electronics, CPE), Swansea University (Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, WCPC) and the University of Manchester (Organic Materials Innovation Centre, OMIC) to create a truly representative national centre with world-class expertise in design, development, fabrication and characterisation of a wide range of devices, materials and processes.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk