PARC Moves Closer to 3D Printing Electronic Components Within Objects

Published by , August 11, 2014 11:30 am

(MIT Technology Review) Researchers at PARC have developed a method of placing and printing chiplets onto a plastic substrate in a way that has not been done before. Normally, when electronic devices are made, computer chips are manufactured in bulk on semiconductor wafers. Then they are cut into their own individual units, before being placed on motherboards. PARC researchers, however, have devised a way to take these semiconductor wafers, chop them up into very small “chiplets,” about the width of a human hair, and mix them into an ink solution.

After complete, these chiplets are provided with positive and negative charges, and then guided to the exact location on a glass substrate, using electrical fields that are generated by wires in a spiral pattern. From there, a specialized roller picks them up and places them on a plastic substrate, where a special type of 3D printer wires them together.

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