Manufacturing Program Seminar Series

Manufacturing Research Seminar Series:
Smart Manufacturing

Challenges and Opportunities in the Packaging and Integration of Next Generation Electronic Devices

Michael Cullinan

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

April 19, 2019
11:00 – 12:00 Noon
Chrysler Center
Room 151
2121 Bonisteel Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Metered Parking is available on campus 

The Nanoscale Design and Manufacturing Laboratory (NDML) at the University of Texas at Austin focuses on the design and development of novel processes and equipment for the manufacturing of micro and nanoscale devices and structures. The first half of this talk will focus on a new microscale additive manufacturing process, known as microscale selective laser sintering (?-SLS), that has been developed in the NDML for the fabrication of 3D electronic interconnect structures with micron scale resolutions. In this process, a thin layer of nanoparticle ink is first spread onto the substrate. The substrate is then positioned under an optical subsystem using a custom built nanopositioning device. A laser that has been focused off a micromirror array is then used to sinter the nanoparticles together in a desired pattern with micrometer resolution. Another layer is then coated onto the substrate and the process is repeated to build up the 3D structure. Finally, the unsintered nanoparticles are washed away to reveal the final 3D part. This talk will present the materials science, mechatronic systems, optics designs, and process modeling used to make this additive manufacturing process capable of achieving micrometer resolution with high throughput (~63 mm3/h) over large areas (~ 50 mm x 50 mm). The second half of this presentation will focus on two projects related to the manufacturing of high quality, flexible electronics: (1) A new roll-to-roll metrology framework for the manufacturing of flexible electronics devices and (2) A new method to precisely exfoliate thin sheets of silicon from bulk silicon wafers. These two projects represent two different approaches to solving the challenge of producing flexible electronics that can compete on performance with conventionally manufactured electronics. The roll-to-roll metrology project tackles the problems currently present in the patterning of repeatable and uniform nanoscale structures on flexible substrates by enabling process control feedback in the roll-to-roll nanopatterning process. This is done by integrating compact, MEMS-based, single chip atomic force microscopes (sc-AFMs) with high scanning speeds directly into a new roll-to-roll metrology framework that greatly increases the throughput and modularity of direct, nanometer-scale measurement on flexible substrates. The exfoliation project takes the opposite approach by taking electronic structures that have been fabricated on conventional silicon substrates and making them flexible by making the silicon layer extremely thin (<5?m). This processes uses a compressive nickel film to create a stress concentration below the top surface of the wafer and polymer film with controlled tension to propagate a crack along this stress concentration. The advantage of this process is that it allows us to cheaply take electronics that have been fabricated using traditional manufacturing processes on bulk silicon wafers and turn them into flexible electronics using just one additional processing step. The presentation will conclude with some thoughts on the future directions of next generation of electronic devices from a manufacturing prospective.


Dr. Cullinan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Cullinan?s research focuses on the development of novel nanomanufacturing systems and on finding ways to exploit nanoscale physical phenomena in order to improve existing macroscale devices and to create novel micro- and nanoscale devices for energy and sensing applications. His research interests include the design and development of nanomanufacturing processes and equipment, metrology of micro and nanomanufacturing, the application of nanoscale science in engineering, the engineering of thin films, nanotubes and nanowires, the manufacturing and assembly of nanostructured materials, and the design of micro/nanoscale machine elements for mechanical sensors and energy systems. Dr. Cullinan has received many awards for his research and teaching including the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (2016), the Rising Star Award from the Sensors Expo and conference (2017), multiple Best Poster Awards form the American Society for Precision Engineering (2017, 2018), and the Outstanding Teaching by an Assistant Professor Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (2017). Dr. Cullinan is also an associate editor for both Precision Engineering and the ASME Journal of Micro and Nanomanufacturing. In addition, he is the co-chair of the Micro and Nanotechnology Technical Leadership Committee for the American Society for Precision Engineering. Overall, Dr. Cullinan has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal papers, conference proceedings, book chapters, patents, and technical reports.   For more information about this seminar, contact Kathy Bishar at (  

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Spotlighting the latest manufacturing research is the focus of the Seminars in Smart Manufacturing. U-M professors, their accomplished counterparts from around the world, and industry leaders present the latest findings on a broad range of manufacturing-related topics on campus and through online learning.

Everyone is welcome to attend the presentations on the Ann Arbor campus. In order to make this knowledge available to all through our focus on online learning, the seminars are digitally recorded so they can be viewed any time, any place. Each seminar is about one hour in length.

Recorded seminars will be posted after they have been presented. Check our archive above for the topics that interest you.

Email announcements will be sent out preceding each seminar. If you would like to be added to the invitation list, contact Kathy Bishar at