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Mesoscopic Integrated Conformal Electronics


AIM logoThe objective of the Mesoscopic Integrated Conformal Electronics (MICE) program was to create electronic circuits and materials on any surface, e.g., to print electrical circuits on the frames of eyeglasses or interwoven with clothing.

The MICE program provided a number of benefits to DoD. This program brought the ability to fabricate ruggedized electronics, sensors, and antennas on conformal surfaces including helmets and other wearable gear that has provided new capabilities and functionalities to the future warfighter. MICE technologies eliminate the need for solder, thereby greatly increasing the robustness of electronic circuitry, and the need for printed wiring boards, enabling significant weight savings for a number of military electronic platforms. In accomplishing these objectives, the program developed manufacturing tools that directly write electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, antennas, fuel cells, and batteries on a wide variety of substrates and with write speeds that approached or exceeded commercial printing technologies all at significantly decreased processing complexity and cost.

MICE efforts have demonstrated the ability to print metal lines on curved surfaces, feature sizes as small as five microns, and print speeds close to one meter per second. Other exciting developments include the demonstration of (1) printed zinc-air batteries that have four times more volumetric power density than commercial batteries, (2) direct-write antennas, and (3) direct-write solar cells.

With these demonstrations in hand, MICE contractors are moving forward with commercialization strategies that are facilitating the transition of MICE tools to the electronics industry.




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