Device physics & engineering

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.

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Meet EMAP

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.
Do you have a specific question or would you like to receive a quote? Our business developer will be happy to help you.

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Functional printing

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.

Application

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:

  • Analysis/testing of functional inks for the mentioned printing and coating techniques
  • Co-development of functional applications with printing and coating technology
  • Organic electronics (e.g. OLED, OPV)
  • Flexible and stretchable electronics
  • Functional coatings
  • Luminous layers
  • Printed sensors
  • Analysis/testing of substrates for the application of functional printing
  • Implementation of printing techniques in production processes
  • Optimisation of sintering and curing processes
  • ...

Specimen

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

  • Ink and coating formulations
  • Stretch PU films
  • PET/PEN films
  • 3D objects
  • Solar cells
  • (O)LED's
  • Paper
  • Textile
  • ...

Key equipment

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.

Deposition

  • Inkjet printer
    Dimatix DMP2831
  • Screen printer
    Baccini Applied Materials
    ISIMAT 1000P
  • Spray coater
    Sonotek
  • Spray coater (3D)
    Sonotek
  • Spin coater
    Laurell WS-400BX-6NPP/LITE
    Laurell H6-23

Characterisation

  • Thermal conductivity
    Minimum 150 K/W
  • Photometric system
    Avantes integrating sphere
    Avantes spectrometer
  • NIR sintering system
    Adphos lamp, 400 W
  • Speed mixer
    Rochem DAC150
  • Van Der Pauw set-up
  • Drawbench
Mg 28371

PV & battery systems

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.

Application

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:

PV systems

  • Integration of PV in building elements (BIPV), infrastructure elements (IIPV) and vehicles (VIPV)
  • Development of materials for energy applications and solar cells
  • Advanced optoelectrical characterisation (CVf and (TR)PL)
  • Reliability testing of photovoltaic systems
    • Potential induced degradation (PID)
    • Carrier induced degradation (CID)
    • Thermo-mechanical stress
    • Thermal cycling
    • Damp Heat
  • Loss analysis of solar cells
  • ...

Battery systems

  • Assembly of button cell batteries in a controlled atmosphere
  • (Temperature-dependent) electrochemical characteristics
  • (Electrochemical) impedance spectroscopy up to 7 MHz
  • Production and characterisation of electrode coatings
  • ...

Specimen

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:

PV systems

  • (Thin film) solar cells and panels
  • Encapsulation materials
  • (Flexible) substrates
  • Mounting systems
  • Power optimizers
  • Anti-PID boxes
  • Inverters
  • ...

Battery systems

  • Materials for electrode coatings
  • Button cell (rechargeable) batteries
  • Pouch (Rechargeable) Batteries
  • ...

Key equipment

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.

PV systems

  • Production line for chalcogenide/kesterite thin film solar cells and modules
  • Selenisation/sulphurisation in elemental S(e)
  • Selenisation/sulfurisation in H2S(e) gas
  • (Time-resolved) photoluminescence ((TR)PL) arrangement
  • Current-voltage (IV) tracer under STC
  • I.f.v. temperature
  • I.f.v. illumination
  • Electroluminescence (EL) set-up
  • Thermomechanical test setup
  • PID test setup up to 4000 VDC
  • Solar simulator

Battery systems

  • Electrochemical impedance spectrometer
  • Button cell battery calorimeter
  • Electrode calibrator
  • Electrode coater
  • Battery cycler
  • Slurry mixer
FEM

Multi-physics modelling

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.

Application

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:

  • Mission profile based lifetime determination
  • Thermal modelling
  • Electrical modelling
  • Strength calculation
  • Flow analysis
  • ...

Specimen

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:

  • Microfluidic channels
  • (Micro)-transducers
  • Mounting systems
  • Power optimizers
  • Solar panels
  • ...

Key equipment

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.

  • COMSOL
  • PLECS
  • LTspice
  • Python
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Electric characterization

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.

Application

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:

  • Custom measurement set-ups for the electrical characterisation of solar cells and batteries
  • Accelerated weathering tests combined with (in-situ) electrical measurements
  • Thermoelectric characterisation of motor controllers and inverters, for example
  • Measurement of electrical properties of cabling
  • Electrical characterisation of heaters
  • ...

Specimen

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:

  • Solar cells
  • Si wafers
  • Batteries
  • Sensors
  • Cables
  • PCBs
  • ...

Key equipment

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.

  • National Instruments set-ups for multi-analysis
    2 channel oscilloscope (250 MS/s, 125 MHz)
    4 channels, 4 quadrants SMU (24V, 150mA)
    2 channels, 2 quadrants SMU (10V, 6A)
    2 channels, 1 SMU quadrant (60V, 1A)
    PCI picoampere multimeters
    Camera grabber
  • National instruments NIDAQ
    Sensor block (RTD, thermistor, thermocouple and load cell)
    4 channel measurements (16bit, 100kS/s)
  • Parameter analyser
    Keithley 4200A-SCS
  • Multimeters and picoampere meters
    Keithley 2000
    Keithley 2001
    Keithley 6400
  • Source measure units (SMU)
    Keysight B2902A
    Keithley 2400
    Keithley 2401
    Keithley 228A
  • Electrometers
    Keithley 6514
    Keithley 6517
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Thermal characterization

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.

Application

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:

  • Determination of temperature coefficients
  • Determination of thermal response
  • Determination of thermal conductivity
  • Accelerated life tests
  • Failure analysis
  • ...

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.

Specimen

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:

  • Electronic components
  • Solar cells
  • Batteries
  • Powders
  • PCBs
  • ...

Key equipment

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.

Heat sources

  • Climate chamber
    With solar simulator extension
    With window for IR camera
    With pull and push bench
  • Oven
    With electrical characterisation

Measuring equipment

  • (Microscopic) IR camera
    FLIR X6580sc
    FLIR E40
    FLIR A5
  • FBGS setup
    12 channel interrogator

Contact

dr. Jorne Carolus

Jornecarolus
Location
Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Function
Business Developer

Materials physics & engineering

Gebouw IMO Foto1
Location
Wetenschapspark 1,3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Function
Research institute