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64 The PCB Magazine • June 2015 tant areas including total elongation and adhe- sion both to copper foil and FR-4 laminate. It is also unique in that is has no melt point making it amenable to soldering with higher tempera- ture lead free solders. A comparison of the new material with PEN is provided in Figure 3. Because the material is thermosetting, it opens up possibilities to make a wide range of new and unique structures with limits that are defined only by the creativity of the de- signer and abilities of tool maker. To stimulate the reader's thinking relative to new possibili- ties, Figure 4 shows an example of a process for structure having an air gap between layers of the material held apart by molding an array of miniature posts into the material and then lam- inating a sheet of cured material to the molded sheet using a sheet of B-staged material. Stretchable Conductor Material: A Natural Companion In addition to the stretchable base material, an equally novel conductive material has been developed as a natural companion, which is suitable for use in display and sensor products near term and possibly others in the not too dis- tant future. The thin (0.1 µm) conductive coat- ing material is 85% transparent and nominally 300 Ohms/square can be stretched reliably to greater than 10% of original length. As shown in Figure 5, the performance is superior to in- dium tin oxide (ITO) coatings which are brittle and easily fracture. Summary A high-performance stretchable substrate such as the one described here offers both new levels of performance and unique processing options, which could increase the material's appeal. In tandem with the companion high- transparency conductive layer, design options and opportunities are further expanded. PCB Figure 5: In comparison with ITO, the new conductive material which has been formulated offers superior performance. Shingo yoshioka is the general manager at the Technology Development center, Electronic Materials business unit of Panasonic corpora- tion. Tomoaki Sawada and Takatoshi abe are staff engineers at Technology Development center, Electronic Materials business unit of Panasonic corporation. For more information, click here. Ford Motor company is offering competitors access to its electrified vehicle technology pat- ents – a move to help accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles. In 2014, Ford filed more than 400 patents dedicated to electrified vehicle technologies. This is more than 20% of the patents the compa- ny filed – totaling more than 2,000 applications. To access Ford's patents and published patent applications, interested parties can con- tact the company's technology commercial- ization and licensing office, or work through autoHarvest, an automaker collaborative innovation and licensing marketplace. auto- Harvest allows members to showcase capabili- ties and technologies, then privately connect with fellow inventors to explore technology and business development opportunities of mutual interest. The patents would be avail- able for a fee. Ford Opens IP Portfolio to Fuel EV Industry Growth NOVEL HIGH-PERFORMANCE SUBSTRATE FOR STRETCHABLE ELECTRONICS continues FeAtuRe

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