The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Facility for Advanced Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing for the Life and Nano Sciences

The Challenge

Translation of advanced nanomanufacturing processes to industrially relevant scalable platforms for manufacturing the next generation of nano-enabled life science products faces barriers throughout the value-chain, extending from materials availability and reproducibility, to standards and infrastructure. In order to facilitate industry adoption of emerging materials and process approaches, validated platforms must be developed that are compatible with existing industry tools and methods..

The Innovation/Technology

UMass Amherst researchers are utilizing expertise in polymer science and materials in combination with advanced patterning and self-assembly processes in order control the composition and morphology of solution-based coatings for a range of potential applications including printable biosensors for assessing health status, activity monitoring, and medical devices and diagnostics. Implementation of specific nanostructured materials with targeted surface functionality enables precision control of materials properties.

The Impact

The ability to control by the design the composition and multi-functional properties of solution-based coatings enables design for manufacturing for a wide range of intelligent materials and devices. Such a design capability allows integration of fully printed microfluidic biosensors, synthesis of biomimetic surfaces and structures, additive printing and manufacturing of future flexible hybrid electronics systems, high sensitivity, 3-D biosensors, and high efficiency renewable energy and power storage.

The Solution

Roll-to-roll process tools provide a versatile approach to developing a broad range of materials and continuous processes incorporating new methodologies in nanomanufacturing, including nanoimprint lithography (NIL) directed self-assembly (DSA), and additive-driven assembly of ordered hybrids. Such a suite of tools and capabilities enables a broad range of materials and solution-based processes to be developed with the potential to impart new and unprecedented functionalities scalable over large areas and production at high rates while maintaining compatibility with existing tooling and manufacturing lines.

Integration of materials advances for printing intelligent materials and devices will enable the combination of emerging technologies for sensors, flexible electronics, and a range of systems front-ends that can be integrated with conventional silicon electronics for wireless communications, data storage, and computation capability on a common flexible patch form-factor.

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