Novel substrate film enables soft printed electronics

October 14, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Novel substrate film enables soft printed electronics
Panasonic Industrial Devices Sales Company of America, a division of Panasonic Corporation, through its Electronic Materials Division has introduced a new thermoset stretchable film for printed electronics and other applications.

The novel material, called BEYOLEX, is based on a proprietary non-silicone thermoset polymer chemistry developed by Panasonic researchers at the Electronic Materials laboratory in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan. BEYOLEX features softness, conformability, high temperature resistance, and ultra-low permanent deformation after stretching.

The stretchable film is 100 microns in thickness, delivered on a high temperature Polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) carrier for mechanical stability during processing and a thin Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or polyester) coversheet for protection. The high surface energy of the BEYOLEX substrate makes it compatible with a wide variety of functional inks and pastes, including screen-printed stretchable silver composite pastes; sintered metal pastes; and liquid metals like eutectic Indium Gallium alloys.

These properties, says the company, make BEYOLEX substrate attractive for many end-use applications including, but not limited to, health/wellness, automotive, sensors, haptics, Internet of Things (IoT), gaming, augmented reality (AR), soft robotics and aerospace.

"This novel non-silicone polymer resin system exhibits amazing properties when made into a film," says Takatoshi Abe, Research Manager, Panasonic Electronic Materials Division and Co-inventor of BEYOLEX technology. "We think this technology - which our team developed, patented, and commercialized - can be the foundation for many new innovative products that will improve people's lives."

Key product features include:

  • Good Elongation: More than 200%
  • Soft and Conformable: Modulus of less than 2.5 MPa
  • Ultra-Low Hysteresis: Less than 0.1% permanent deformation after 100% stretching
  • High Temperature Resistance: Greater than 300°C
  • Transparent: More than 90% Transmission Over Visible Spectrum
  • Good Electrical Properties: Breakdown Voltage 98 KV/mm

Traditional printed electronic substrates like polyester and polyimide films are not pliable, stretchable, or soft. Silicone-based films can be incompatible with standard electronic materials and processes. Thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) are commonly used as a substrate for pliable printed electronics, but these films have low temperature resistance and can be prone to permanent deformation after being strained.

Andy Behr, Technology Manager, Panasonic Electronic Materials says, "We view electronic materials based on this


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