Scientific reports

Screen printed passive components for flexible power electronics.

PMID 26514331


Additive and low-temperature printing processes enable the integration of diverse electronic devices, both power-supplying and power-consuming, on flexible substrates at low cost. Production of a complete electronic system from these devices, however, often requires power electronics to convert between the various operating voltages of the devices. Passive components-inductors, capacitors, and resistors-perform functions such as filtering, short-term energy storage, and voltage measurement, which are vital in power electronics and many other applications. In this paper, we present screen-printed inductors, capacitors, resistors and an RLC circuit on flexible plastic substrates, and report on the design process for minimization of inductor series resistance that enables their use in power electronics. Printed inductors and resistors are then incorporated into a step-up voltage regulator circuit. Organic light-emitting diodes and a flexible lithium ion battery are fabricated and the voltage regulator is used to power the diodes from the battery, demonstrating the potential of printed passive components to replace conventional surface-mount components in a DC-DC converter application.