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Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering News

Graduate Student Twinkle Pandhi 2017 FLEX Conference Poster Awardee

Twinkle Pandhi Working in the Lab

Twinkle Pandhi, a graduate student in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering received a student travel award and a second-place poster award at the 2017 FLEX Conference, the nation’s leading forum for flexible, printed, and hybrid electronics technology. The conference hosted over 26 technical sessions and featured international presenters who share the common goal of creating faster, smarter, and more economical electronic devices for everyday use.

Printed and Flexible Electronics – The Future of Electronic Devices

Twinkle’s research focuses on understanding the physics behind power dissipation in aerosol jet printed graphene interconnects. Power dissipation relates current flow to voltage in electronic devices, which can lead to severe internal temperature increases. Power dissipation is a limiting factor in current silicon based computer processors. This is why laptops can heat up significantly, requiring innovative cooling technologies to prevent serious burns. New materials such as graphene have shown potential to improve the efficiency of electronic devices by reducing the temperature rise associated with power dissipation. “To our knowledge, Twinkle’s research represents the first study of power dissipation in printed graphene interconnects,” said Dr. Dave Estrada, Twinkle’s graduate advisor and co-director of the Boise State Advanced Nanomaterials and Manufacturing Laboratory. “Understanding the limiting factors in power dissipation of printed graphene may help expedite the adoption of this material in flexible and printed electronics applications, particularly if it can be printed in a roll-to-roll fashion.”

Collaborative Research Leads to New Innovations

Twinkle continues to conduct her award-winning research in collaboration with the PrintTronics Research Group at Air Force Research Laboratories led by Dr. Emily Heckman, NASA Scientist Dr. Jessica Koehne of the Center for Nanotechnology at NASA Ames Research Center, and Assistant Professor Feng Xiong’s group in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh. The team’s diverse expertise allows a comprehensive approach to research that encompasses materials synthesis and characterization, device fabrication and characterization, and multiphysics modeling. This method of collaborative research has led to new insights that demonstrate the effects of materials structure, properties, and processing on the performance of printed graphene devices. Printed graphene devices have dozens of potential uses such as touch screens in consumer electronics, wearable and stretchable biosensors for monitoring hydration and stress, and environmental monitoring systems for managing the condition of temperature sensitive inventory such as agricultural products and pharmaceuticals.

About Twinkle Pandhi

Twinkle received an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2015, she enrolled in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering graduate program. Ms. Pandhi is a valued graduate research assistant in the Advanced Nanomaterials and Manufacturing Laboratory which is co-directed by Dr. David Estrada of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering and Dr. Harish Subbaraman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Twinkle continues her collaborative research on printing two-dimensional materials and devices over a summer internship at the Center for Nanotechnology at NASA Ames Research Center.

Twinkle has discovered that presenting research at technical conferences is an excellent method for building a professional network. “The Flex Conference was truly a valuable experience for me,” said Ms. Pandhi. “I was really amazed to see the cohesiveness between industries and universities in creating a resourceful environment for emerging flexible and printed technology.” Twinkle’s poster award and her drive to continue discovering new technologies confirm that she is on the right track. She has also presented her findings at the Materials Research Society’s 2017 Electronic Materials Conference and plans to present further research advances at upcoming conferences.

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