PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Feb2021

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10 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2021 technologies helping us work remotely and still maintain some form of team dynamics. But now certainly is a good time to embrace a con- tinuous improvement culture to take full ad- vantage. With so much uncertainty surround- ing us, it's a way to exert some control and find a way to thrive. is month in particular, the continuous im- provement discussion turns pragmatic. is month's issue of PCB007 Magazine is the much- anticipated annual IPC APEX EXPO 2021 pre- view issue. IPC has adjusted to its own pan- demic-related challenges by reinventing the conference and exhibition as a virtual event. In this issue, we bring you preview information, schedules, and tips on how to get the most out of the virtual show. For readers who would like to participate in the IPC APEX EXPO program, but who might not have the opportunity under normal, on- site-only circumstances, this is the year to dive in, register, and participate. IPC has made it so very easy (and in some scenarios, free-of- charge) to gain access to the expo as well as the technical programs. e staff at I-Connect007 encourages you to consider attending. Read about it here, then make your plans. ere may be plenty of randomness in our marketplace currently, but time spent at IPC APEX EXPO 2021 is one of the ways to improve our abili- ty to make informed decisions that minimize the randomness of our business in the current world environment. PCB007 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of PCB007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here. Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich succeeded in developing a material that works like a lumines- cent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities for producing energy directly in everyday electronics. A new polymer, applied on textile fibers, jackets, T- shirts and the like, could soon function as solar col- lectors and thus as a mobile energy supply. Materials capable of using ambient light for ener- gy generation are already used in the solar industry. These materials contain "Luminescent Solar Con- centrators," or LSC for short. The LSC captures dif- fuse ambient light, transmitting energy to the ac- tual solar cell, which converts light into electrical energy. LSCs are neither flexible nor permeable. A research team has succeeded in incorporating sev- eral of these luminescent materials into a polymer that provides flexibility and air permeability. This new material is based on Amphiphilic Poly- mer Co-Networks, or APCN for short, a polymer already available on the market as silicone- hydrogel contact lenses. The team added two different luminescent materials to the gel tissue, turning it into a flexible solar concen- trator. Just as on large-scale (rigid) collectors, the luminescent materials capture a much wider spectrum of light than is possible with conventional photovoltaics. The novel solar concentrators can be applied to textile fibers without the textile becoming brittle and sus- ceptible to cracking or accumulating water va- por in the form of sweat. Solar concentrators worn on the body offer an immense benefit for the ever-increasing demand for energy, espe- cially for portable devices. (Source: Empa) Turning Streetwear Into Solar Concentrators The newly developed solar concentrator when irradiated with blue LED light: The polymer material is so flexible that it can be bent with tweezers. Image: Empa

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