University of Utah electrical and computer engineering student Adwait Deshpande received the “Outstanding Student Paper” award at the 2022 IEEE FLEPS Conference in Vienna, Austria, for his paper on flexible wiring. Adwait was one of 11 finalists and four recipients of the award.

Adwait is currently working on his Ph.D. under ECE professor Carlos Mastrangelo in his lab, studying flexible electronics. His paper focused specifically on increasing the bendability of flexible devices through a new type of wiring.

“If you use normal metallic wirings in any flexible devices, the amount that you can flex is restricted,” Adwait said. The wiring solution his paper investigates is a composite wire made of an aluminum top layer and a polysilicon underlayer.

“The main idea behind this paper was when you go to a lower bending radius or you bend more, the aluminum will crack, but the polysilicon will bridge the crack,” he added. When putting this to the test, Adwait found that the composite wiring did in fact withstand a bending radius that was lower than aluminum-only wiring.

“We went through several revisions during the fabrication of these wires,” he said. “There were a lot of failures in the beginning while releasing and transferring the wires onto a flexible substrate, but [the professor] kept giving me ideas of how to improve, and finally I was able to finish what we set out to achieve.”

Throughout the conference, Adwait gave two talks and had the opportunity to meet professors and students alike from around the world. “I got to interact with lots of students working on different domains of flexible electronics,” he said.

Students competing for the award he received were judged on their technical details, experimental results, communication, and clarity of objectives and advantages to their respective solution they wrote about.

This research will benefit the entire flexible electronics industry. Read the technical abstract or Adwait’s full award-winning paper here:

High-Toughness Aluminum-N-Doped Polysilicon Wiring for Flexible Electronics | IEEE Conference Publication | IEEE Xplore