Southampton electronic textiles showcased at international fashion exhibition
Advanced functional materials developed in collaborative research led by the University of Southampton have been exhibited at Avantex Paris, an international expo merging high technology and the fashion industry.
Textiles from the Functional Electronic TexTiles (FETT) project were displayed from Sunday 11th to Wednesday 14th February at the Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Centre, demonstrating the outputs of novel manufacturing methods being innovated through the £2.8m programme. The four-year FETT project, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is creating reliable packaging of advanced electronic components in ultra-thin die form within a textile yarn.
Dr John Tudor, investigator on the project and presenter at the event, stated “We have developed a platform technology in the Functional Electronic Textiles project and demonstrated a range of novel smart fabric prototypes at Avantex. We had significant interest from many industry sectors using fabrics which highlighted the wide range of applications for, and interest in, smart textiles. Smart textiles were perceived by many attendees as an important area for the future and an area in which they wanted to be involved.”
FETT is a collaboration between researchers from Southampton’s Smart Electronic Materials and Systems (SEMS) Group, experts at Nottingham Trent University and 10 commercial partners.
The programme of research is investigating approaches for mounting an ultra-thin die onto thin flexible polymer films strips that contain patterned conductive interconnects and bond pads. Individual die are located on the strip and encapsulated to form a die pod before conductive tracks on the plastic substrate link the die pods together forming a long, very thin, flexible circuit or electronic filament.
FETT is the second SEMS Group research project to be invited to display at Avantex Paris in the past 12 months. In 2017, Dr Russel Torah and Dr John Tudor exhibited the final results of the EU project CREATIF, Creative tools for digital printing of smart fabrics. CREATIF provided cultural and creative industries with collaborative software design tools that allow the design of bespoke smart fabrics, with researchers demonstrating its potential through the production of a fabric piano and a fabric drum kit.