Roll-to-Roll (R2R) Processing at Birck Nanotechnology Center

By Nicholas J Glassmaker

Birck Nanotechnology Centeer, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Flexible substrates present the ability to process materials in a roll‐to‐roll manner for high throughput, low cost, and excellent uniformity. Examples of areas where such processes are utilized include polymer coatings and films, printing, and the rapidly growing field of flexible electronics. Birck Nanotechnology Center has a range of tools for carrying out both printing and coating operations, which will be described in this talk, such as the PPSI roll‐to‐roll ink jet printer, Mirwec coating system, and the newly installed Maxwell roll‐to‐roll system. The Maxwell system is a state of the art, custom piece of equipment designed by Prof. Mukerrem Cakmak, which offers a broad range of polymer processing operations, including a unique particle alignment capability via applied electric and magnetic fields.


Birck Maxwell roll‐to‐roll system


Relevant examples of research enabled by these tools will be presented, which include: printed conductive electrodes for flexible electronics, ion selective membrane depositions for sensor applications, and cast polymer films with aligned piezoelectric particles for sensitive pressure sensing. Additionally, supporting tools and instruments useful for rapid process development will be described.


Nicholas Glassmaker Nicholas Glassmaker joined Birck Nanotechnology Center in Fall 2017 and has an educational background in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, receiving the Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 2004. He completed post‐doctoral assignments at Lehigh University and the Ecole Superieure de Physique and Chimie Industrielles in France. He also has 10 years’ experience working in the Central R&D and Electronic Materials departments at DuPont Co. in Wilmington, DE. During these various assignments, he has become skilled at microfabrication techniques, polymer processing and surface modification, testing mechanical properties of materials, and materials development for screen printing inks.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Nicholas J Glassmaker (2018), "Roll-to-Roll (R2R) Processing at Birck Nanotechnology Center,"

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Room 1001, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN