The first step of LEE-BED is to enter into an iterative process to determine overall technical feasibility and risk of the project. This includes:
Assessment of the technical risk of producing a product with the desired design features.
We do this using databases developed by the consortium that take into account knowledge of nanomaterials, formulations, components and printing substrates.
Blueprint of the product design
Determination of materials needed for the product (Bill of Materials)
Calculates the costs of production using the technical assessment, databases and models developed by the consortium. The costs are then compared to the desired selling point of the final product. This takes into account the materials, printing techniques and scale of production. If the economic assessment is not positive, product development continues.
Detailed economic assessment includes:
Market Analysis for the product and technology
Study of the competition
Business model development
Determine cash needs for operation, infrastructure, materials ect
Determine payback period
Determine the return on investments (compare the expected return to the investment cost)
LEE-BED can reviews materials and processes to determine any barriers that need to be addressed within the technical solutions presented for the entire product life cycle.
Pre-safety services offered by LEE-BED includes three main activities:.
Consists of a thorough analysis of the available information regarding regulatory requirements that the nanomaterial or nano-enabled products of interest shall meet before being placed on the market, which includes:
Identification and description of international regulatory requirements (including reporting schemes) within key target markets.
REACH compliance management, including the definition of the specific requirements for nanoforms and products containing nanoforms, especially in terms registration obligations, chemical safety assessment requirements, testing proposals, and exposure related information to be considered.
Classification and labelling according to CLP/GHS
Drafting of material safety data sheets (MSDS)
Consists of a preliminary hazard and risk assessment study to determine the (eco)toxicological profile (based on existing data on in vitro and in silico studies) and exposure potential of the materials at all stages of the life cycle.
Determines the actions needed to meet regulatory requirements and safety for human health and the environment, with a cost/benefit perspective.
Patent mapping is an effective way of examining technological development in a rapidly changing market. The overall aim of patent mapping is to map technology trends, technology solutions, and relevant competitors for LEE-BED clients.This provides clients with strategic knowledge to further assess the possibilities for technological development and commercialisation of the project.
A full description of the Patent Mapping service can be downloaded here.
We have also conducted a Global Trends Analysis for printed electronics, which you can download here.
We perform a life cycle assessment to determine the environmental impacts from production, to product use and afterlife. More can be read about the methodology here.
Activities include the transfer of relevant knowledge and aim to exploit the results generated via accessing the LEE-BED Ecosystem to their fullest potential.
- Knowledge management seminar: identification, compilation, representation, and distribution process of knowledge generated. It provides insights on the IPRs, ownership of the results, IP agreements etc.
- Identification of Foreground IPs: LEE-BED and the customer have already agreed upon the current state of knowledge and concluded on the ownership of IPR after the project completion.
- Further patent analysis (upon request)
Experimental hazard assessment services offered by LEE-BED consist of:
Experimental in vitro toxicological studies based on OECD test guidelines and regulatory requirements adapted to nanomaterials using cell lines representatives of the main exposure routes to the human body and on different species in the biota using several aquatic and soil bio-indicator microorganisms.
Characterization of the potential exposure to nano-objects and their aggregates and agglomerates during critical tasks in terms of particle number concentration, size distribution, surface area and average size distribution through real time analysis in industrial facilities or exposure chamber simulations.
Identification of occupational exposure scenarios, to identify possible sources of emissions/release in workplaces.
Definition of proper risk management measures to avoid risk al all stages of the life cycle (production, handling and end-of-life) of ENMs and NEPs, and testing of the personal protective equipment and engineering controls use by the user in terms of particle penetration and particle removal efficiency.
LEE-BED will offer customers financial advice to meet its funding needs and define the capital structure that better fits the projects in phase 3. The service consists of:
Optimization of the business plan
Generation of a list of potential investors and funding alternatives offering public or private opportunities
Advice on negotiation of terms and the closing of the operation (term sheet)
The building blocks of any electronic circuit or sensor system are the materials. Nanomaterials increase electrical performance and add novel functionalities compared to already existing print processes. New features can be added to a product by using a nanomaterial, like transparent conduction with our silver nanowires. More sustainable and cost-effective materials can also be devloped, like using copper nanoparticles which are approximately 10x cheaper than silver.
We have the ability to rapidly test new compositions of materials for sensor development. This enables LEE-BED users’ creativity because we can use rapid screening along with scientific literature to make new products not currently on the market, for example, new sensors.
LEE-BED can perform rapid development by combining artificial intelligence for Design of Experiments (DoE) and a fully automated small-scale flow and batch reactor technology. This combination both minimizes raw material usage and reduces development time to under three months.
Once we have developed a particular nanomaterial, a challenge is to up-scale production to meet industrial demands. LEE-BED has, through partner DTI, designed and built large scale solvothermal flow and batch reactor technologies, which can be tailored for a particular nanomaterial. The reactor technologies can be either semi or fully automated and can use on-line monitoring sensors with temperature, pressure, pH and etc.
Not just the materials themselves, but how they print and interact with what we print on, requires scientific development. Every print will require different specifications for each active material in the printed tracks, each material we print on and each printing process. Different applications hold different challenges.
Packaging: Need high speed printing process, cheap materials and to be food safe
Embedded materials: High process temperatures and long term stability
Wearables: Low process temperatures and printed tracks need to withhold strains
Printed sensors: Thin, lightweight and perform as well as traditional
Adhesives are needed to attach components in the electronic. In traditional electronics, solder is used but this cannot be used on the flexible materials we print on, which melt at low temperatures.
We have the ability to make conductive tracks with non-precious metal inks using room temperature processing. Using non-precious metals makes them cheaper and because they are more earth abundant there are lower risks of large price spikes and fluctuations in availability. Our processing method allows them to be placed on flexible substrates that cannot handle the heat processing normally required of these materials. For more information see this recent publication here.
Components include sensors, antenna and chips. These components can either be printed or placed on a printed circuit. Below we have examples of printed touch sensors and printed NFC antenna.
LEE-BED can characterize the size, shape and structure of nanoparticles used in printing electronics. LEE-BED has a state-of-the-art characterization laboratory, with the following instrumentation: Powder X-ray diffraction, Electronic microscopy, SEM, STEM, EDX and FIB/SEM BET and mercury intrusion TGA.
We can also characterize the properties of inks that we formulate. This includes the wetting, rheology, stability and viscosity. Our characterization labs have instrumentation including: rheometers, tensiometers, laser diffraction, dynamic light scattering, viscometers and more.
INLINE MONITORING OF PRINTS
In LEE-BED we have expertise in various printing technologies. We can help find the right solution for your needs by taking into account the design, speed requirements, and printing scale. Inkjet printing enables quick prototyping of designs because the print can be easily modified. Screen printing does not require as many technical requirements for the inks, reducing formulation challenges. Flexographic printing is especially good for packaging because it enables fast printing. Pick and Place machines put the non-printed components on the print. Multi-material pilot line enables 3D printed devices by printing both conducting components and composites. Please contact us for a full list of capabilities!
Ink-jet printer at RISE and DTI
Flexographic Roll-to-Roll printing at ITENE
3D Multi Material Pilot Line