Printed, Self-Powered, Wireless Sensor Platform for Future Smart Buildings

P. Joshi
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: inkjet, wireless sensor, smart building


Over the past decade, rapid advances in flexible and printed electronics are showing a path towards meeting the manufacturing technology demands of higher functionality, reduced material usages and device dimensions, and lower consumption of products. Low temperature integration of diverse materials and device technologies is being explored for a wide range of active and passive device applications, such as displays, organic electronics, radio-frequency identification (RFID), antennas, inductors, capacitors, sensors, batteries and energy harvesting devices. The emerging landscape of additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in combination with the inkjet printing technology is enabling unique circuit and device integration schemes on 2D/3D platforms to realize wearable technologies and the Internet of Things. Low-cost, low power, and low bandwidth sensors and controls have the potential to impact smart buildings technology by reducing the energy consumption by 20-40%. The present talk highlights the development of a multifunctional sensor platform with specific focus on operational and functional requirements of environmental sensors, energy harvesting and storage components, and printed RF antennas for monitoring in smart buildings. The main challenge for the sensors integrated on low temperature flexible substrates is to establish a complete technology chain: material development, processing and characterization equipment, and production. Our focus is to demonstrate a novel multifunctional sensor platform incorporating monitoring, control, and communication circuitry. The main findings of our development of printed metal interconnect, and additive integration of sensor, antenna, and energy harvesting components are highlighted in this presentation. The role of the large area, efficient thermal processing techniques in realizing low temperature integration with optimum performance/cost tradeoff on unconventional substrates is also discussed. It is foreseeable that the smart sensors integrated on flexible substrates demonstrating a high degree of coordination among functionality, cost/performance ratio, and custom-integration will evolve towards all printable technological solution taking us towards peel-and-stick wireless sensors.