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Jisun Im

The University of Nottingham

3D Electronics: Building blocks for 3D printed sensors and computers

This is a joint presentation with Feiran Wang and Geoffrey Rivers.

Digitally controlled printing of electronics, either as components or full devices, is a rapidly progressing area of research. Breaking large systems, such as a multiplexed sensor array or computing system, into discrete building blocks at varying scales, such as the device scale (a single sensor, a memory cell, a digital inverter) or the component scale (a heterojunction, a responsive or state-switching element, a functional geometry such as resistor or antenna), leads to the construction of a library of inter-changeable and interactive elements that can be integrated into an ever expanding array of customisable designs. It is that customisability, multifunctionality, adaptability, and shared manufacturing methodology which makes development of 3D printed electronics technology desirable for future manufacturing. These open new opportunities for seamless integration of computing and sensing technology into structural systems, biomedical technology, energy systems, and food production. Previous groups have reported promising developments for 3D printing of transistors, memsistors, capacitors and super capacitors, photodetectors, chemical sensors, and more, using a variety of functional materials. Here we will discuss the challenges currently facing these devices stemming from materials, design, print control and processing, and opportunities for future work. The material challenges include optimisation for printing requirements, stability, electronic/mechanical properties and low-dimensional structure, post-treatments. Similarly, the challenges stemming from the print process include the complexities of multi-layer printing, emergent effects of multi-material interaction, scale and resolution in 3D printing, advancement from 2D to 3D architectures, and the anisotropy problem. We will highlight the applications and goals we seek to resolve with our research, including the materials we are currently investigating, our efforts thus far, our current accomplishments, and future avenues of exploration.


Jisun got her BSc degree in 2003 and her MSc degree in Polymer Science & Engineering at Pusan National University in South Korea in 2005. During her MSc, she studied the thermal and mechanical properties of polyimide/silica composites by improving the interfacial compatibility between organic and inorganic materials. In 2012, she earned her PhD degree in Polymer Science at University of Massachusetts Lowell in the United States. During her PhD, Jisun worked on the sensors based on thiol-functionalized gold nanoparticles for the detection of toxic vapours and surface chemistry and analysis of metal oxides for optoelectronic devices. After her PhD, she joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral associate in 2011 and developed the integrated cellulose concentrator/SWCNT sensor for the detection of benzene, toluene, and xylenes. Based on her postdoc research, she has successfully licenced two patents. After working for Samsung SDI from 2014 to 2019 as a senior research engineer, Jisun joined the Centre for Additive Manufacturing in April 2019. Her current research focuses on development of functional electronic materials for sensors, printed electronics, energy harvesting and biomedical devices.


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