Electronics & Sensors

Rapid, On-Site, Viral Vector-Free Car T-Cell Manufacturing Gives Faster Production of Higher Quality Cell Population (RFT-538)

Scientists at NDSU have developed a small device for improved CAR T cell production, which speeds the turnaround time by enabling CAR T cell production 'on-site' at a hospital or cancer clinic. This simple, microfluidic device is easy to make and use, with an automated transfection process that takes about one hour.

Photoinitiators that Trigger Extremely Rapid and Efficient Polymer Synthesis using UV or Visible Light (RFT-530)

NDSU researchers have developed a range of Type I, Type II, and acidic photoinitiators, which provide polymerization of polyacrylate with good efficiency at low concentrations.  The synthesis of photoinitiators is efficient using routine chemistry, and their structures are easily manipulated to tune for low energy (including visible) light wavelengths.  These photoinitiators are each triggered by a very narrow and easily defined wavelength, making timing of polymerization easy to control (and avoiding inadvertent triggering of the reaction). The photoinitiators may be produced from either bio-based or petroleum-based starting materials, including such readily available materials as vanillin.

Photodegradable Polymers Enable Recovery of High Value Components from Electronics and Composites (RFT-529)
Only about 10% of post-consumer plastic is recycled in the U.S., leading to waste of plastic and valuable materials embedded in plastic. NDSU researchers have developed a technology to make many plastics photo-dedgradable, enabling recovery of materials from plastics while broadly enhancing plastics recycling.  With respect to recovery of embedded materials, electronic devices and carbon fiber composites being two examples.  More than 30% of carbon fiber ends up discarded.  Electronics have an even worse recycling story.  Almost 90% of electronic waste is disposed without recycling, even though it is a gold mine - one ton of circuit boards contains 40 – 800 times more gold than a ton of ore.  There is also a tremendous amount of copper, silver, and palladium that is discarded rather than recovered.  The NDSU technology enables recovery of these valuable components, which is accomplished by including built-in photocleavable units into the plastic polymers. The resulting photodegradable polymers can be designed for degradation with specific wavelengths of UV and/or visible light by selecting the appropriate photocleavable unit(s).

Roll-to-Roll Synthesis of Silicon Thin Films from Liquid Silanes (RFT-447)
Silicon thin films are fundamental in solar and microelectronic industries, and are presently obtained using expensive low-pressure plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using gaseous silanes despite of its low precursor utilization efficiency. Instability and low vapor-pressure of liquid hydrosilanes have limited their use in the semiconductor industries for longtime. Researchers at NDSU have developed a process to synthesis silicon thin films from liquid hydrosilane (Si6H12) at ambient pressure in a roll-to-roll method using atmospheric pressure aerosol assisted chemical vapor deposition (AA-APCVD) that has higher deposition rates compared to the state-of-the-art PECVD. Solubility of solid dopants in the liquid hydrosilane facilitate the deposition of degenerately doped (n & p –type) Si thin films opposed to compressed toxic phosphine and borane gases used in other techniques. Low decomposition temperature (higher activation energy) of cyclohexasilane (Si6H12), a liquid hydrosilane, benefits for a new plasma free process for the synthesis of silicon nitride films and Si nanowires (with suitable catalyst) at temperatures as low as 30oC using the AA-APCVD, readily adoptable for large-scale roll-to-roll continuous manufacturing. Liquid hydrosilane compositions consisting of nanomaterials enable hybrid Si films with embedded nanomaterials that have applications in energy harvesting and light emitting devices.

Biodegradable Soil Sensors that can be "Planted" with a Seed Mixture (RFT-428)
Scientists working at NDSU are developing biodegradable sensors capable of directly monitoring and reporting the soil environment in which they are placed. The sensors are constructed by using NDSU’s patent-pending “direct write” electronic printing techniques to print circuit and antenna patterns directly onto renewable, bio-based materials. The circuit patterns are printed with trace amounts of metallic materials such as aluminum that are safe for the soil when the sensors naturally biodegrade over time.

Contactless Laser-Assisted Placement of Discrete Electronic Components (RFT-370)
Scientists working at North Dakota State University (NDSU) have discovered a method for the contactless laser-assisted assembly of discrete components such as ultra-thin, ultra-small semiconductor dies and MEMS components onto rigid and flexible substrates. Laser-direct write techniques are an enabling technology for the ever-decreasing scale of microelectronic devices. Specifically, Laser Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) techniques show promise as a disruptive technology which will enable the placement of components smaller than what conventional pick-and-place techniques are capable of today. NDSU’s Thermo-Mechanical Selective Laser Assisted Die Transfer (tmSLADT) process is an application of the unique blistering behavior of polyimide film when irradiated by low energy focused ultraviolet laser pulses. The tmSLADT process has the potential to take its place as the next generation LIFT technique, with distinct advantages over previously studied ablative and thermal releasing techniques. Experimental results studying transfer precision indicate this non-optimized die transfer process compares with, and may exceed, the placement precision of current assembly techniques.

Electrospinning Process and Compositions for High Volume Silicon Nanowire Production (RFT-311)
Scientists at North Dakota State University (NDSU) have developed a process for continuous high-volume production of silicon micro- and nano-wires based on electrospinning. The technology is based on the ability to use liquid silane as a starting material, so the length of the wires is essentially unlimited. The wires can be produced with a variety of polymers, metal particles, and silane variations to generate a range of properties and capabilities. Potential applications include composite materials, electronic devices, sensors, photodetectors, batteries, ultracapacitors, and photosensitive substrates.

Novel "Carrier Gas" Sensitizers for Improved Laser Ablation Performance of Coating Films (RFT-178)
NDSU inventors have developed polymer films and additives that can be used in polymer films such as polyol photosensitizers, carrier gas UV laser ablation sensitizers and other additives that can be used in preparation of such carrier films.