In addition to fundamental and strategic basic research, imo-imomec also offers scientific services in collaboration with the industry. For these scientific services imo-imomec focusses on four pillars:analytical chemistry, analytical microscopy, device physics & engineering, and packaging technology.
The Engineering Materials & Applications (EMAP) research group is affiliated with the Faculty of Industrial Engineering in the fields of electronics, electromechanics and energy. Besides academic research, EMAP also conducts applied and contract research in collaboration with industry. This with a focus on the development and testing of innovative material systems. From the available expertise and experience within both fundamental and applied research, EMAP is a technology enabler within the indicated domains in the left menu.
In cooperation with companies, EMAP searches for technological solutions to support their R&D or for the treatment of a certain problem. When no standard solutions are available, EMAP offers support in the elaboration and development of a custom-made solution. As part of the development, EMAP translates the problem definition into a technically feasible and user-friendly concept.
The close collaboration with imec and active participation in consortia such as EnergyVille and Solliance ensures that EMAP can draw on the expertise and knowledge of an extensive network, and that its expertise is not limited to the fields indicated in the left-hand menu.
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Within imo-imomec, a wide range of printing and coating techniques can be used to deposit thin layers and patterns of functional materials on all kinds of substrates. The focus lies mainly on drop-on-demand (DoD) inkjet printing, screen printing, blade coating and ultrasonic spray coating of, for example, conductive, luminous, scratch-resistant or hydrophobic coatings.
Each printing and coating technique requires an optimisation of the substrate, the ink formulation (and thus the functionality) and the printing technique. Research, development and service can start from any of these three angles to achieve innovative products or optimised production processes.
In addition to extensive expertise in the deposition of functional coatings, imo-imomec also has a broad know-how in the sintering and curing of deposited inks to optimise the drying process. This enables us to perform the following services for a wide range of application domains:
Depending on the desired functionality and the printing/coating technique, all kinds of specimens or material systems can be treated. Typical examples of specimens and material systems for functional printing are
For functional printing, imo-imomec can rely on several specialised tools to solve the problem. Besides the printing and coating techniques, we also have equipment to characterise the deposited materials. Below an overview.
Imo-imomec has extensive expertise in solar cell and battery research. In addition, imo-imomec actively participates in EnergyVille, a collaboration between the Flemish research partners KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt for research into sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems.
Within the PV research, imo-imomec focusses on three pillars: i) synthesis of materials for energy applications and (thin film) solar cells, ii) integration of (thin film) PV materials in building elements (BIPV), infrastructure elements (IIPV) and vehicles (VIPV) and iii) accelerated life cycle testing of photovoltaic systems.
Within battery research, we offer efficient screening and evaluation of new concept materials and electrode architectures for (rechargeable) battery applications. A wide range of (electrochemical) characterisation and production equipment is available to weigh the pros and cons of candidate materials or concepts at laboratory scale.
With its wide range of synthesis, characterisation and testing equipment, imo-imomec is able to perform the following services within the field of solar cell technology and battery research:
Imo-imomec can call on a wide range of custom and standardised tests to carry out PV and battery research. This from material to system level. Typical examples of specimens for this research are:
The infrastructure imo-imomec can call on supports characterisation and production activities for the entire value chain: from raw materials to applications. Below is an overview.
Imo-imomec has an extensive core expertise in reverse engineering (using the specialised equipment), building models incorporating various physical processes (thermal, electrical, flow, etc.), performing and interpreting simulations and in-house validation under controlled and accelerated stress conditions. The validation of the models is done by means of customised or standard test set-ups, using climate chambers, mechanical set-ups, (microscopic) infrared cameras, and so on. The reliability research within EnergyVille on solar panels and inverters is based on this expertise.
For this academic research, various tools are used, ranging from custom-written Python code and electro-thermal models in PLECS or SPICE to finite element modelling (FEM) in COMSOL.
Multi-physics and multi-scale simulations can be used for all kinds of product and process innovations. This enables us to carry out research for a wide range of application domains:
Depending on the focus of the research, all kinds of material systems can be covered. Typical examples of material systems for multi-physics modelling are:
The various tools can be used flexibly, can be combined many times and can be controlled via (customised) control software for automatic feedback. Below is an overview of the commercial tools for developing customised models.
Thanks to a wide range of specialised electrical measuring equipment, imo-imomec is also your partner for carrying out electrical analyses. This can range from voltage or current measurements to advanced impedance measurements. The equipment is extremely flexible and suitable for multi-parameter analysis in which various electrical signals are measured simultaneously. For this purpose, we write our own test routines tailored to your needs.
In addition, all the aforementioned techniques can be linked to the techniques in the left-hand menu to make combined set-ups possible. Think of electro-mechanical tests, thermo-electric tests, and so on.
Due to the wide range of electrical characterisation techniques, imo-imomec is able to measure the electrical properties of all kinds of applications. This enables us to perform the following services for a wide range of application domains:
Imo-imomec can rely on a wide range of custom and standardised tests to perform electrical characterisations. This from material to system level. Typical examples of specimens for electrical characterisation are:
The equipment can be used flexibly, can be combined many times and can be controlled via (custom-made) control software for automatic data storage. Below is a selection from our range.
Imo-imomec can rely on a wide range of thermal characterisation techniques. On the one hand, it is possible to establish temperature profiles in climate chambers or ovens, and on the other hand, various equipment is available to measure thermal properties by means of, among others, high-end infrared cameras, fibre Bragg grating sensors and thermocouples.
In addition, all the aforementioned techniques can be linked to the techniques in the left menu to make combined setups possible. Think of thermo-mechanical tests, thermo-electric tests, and so on.
Due to the wide range of thermal characterisation techniques, imo-imomec is able to measure thermal properties under the influence of various thermal excitation sources. These include joule heating, illumination, convection, and so on. This enables us to perform the following services for a wide range of application domains:
In addition, imo-imomec has built up extensive expertise in the incorporation of Fibre Bragg Grating sensors into all kinds of applications. These sensors can measure very local temperature changes, combined with the internal strain of the material.
Imo-imomec can call on a wide range of custom and standardised tests to perform thermal characterisations. This from material to system level. Typical examples of specimens for thermal characterisation are:
For thermal characterisation, imo-imomec can rely on several specialised tools to solve the problem. Besides high-end measuring devices, we also have equipment to create temperature profiles. An overview is given below.