Xenon Corporation’s Printed Electronics Testing Network Offers Expertise in Wide Range of PE Disciplines

Entrepreneurs working on new projects utilizing printed electronics can find the process daunting. Often, they are matching new substrates and materials, and the choice of a manufacturing process in itself is challenging, as there is a huge difference between R&D and production. 

In reality, it can take years for companies to determine what actually works, and time is always of the essence.

To help these innovators navigate the many challenges they face, a group of companies and universities have formed the Printed Electronics Testing Network (PETN). Formed by Xenon Corporation, this network is offering companies and universities the opportunity to come into their facilities, learn if their applications will work and offer advice on possible improvements.

The goal of the Printed Electronics Testing Network is to support research and development, share knowledge across the network, and through these efforts, to advance the practical use of printed electronics in commercial applications.

“Our past business models have shown that by working closely on a global basis with critical technologies required for achieving successful R&D for emerging markets, one can establish test centers that can expedite proof of concept in a relatively short time at a very cost effective approach,” said Louis Panico, CEO at Xenon Corporation.

“The Printed Electronics Testing Network immediately provides a technical collaboration of multi-formulation, dispensing companies and integrators with high energy ‘pulsed light’ sources for addressing key issues of PE process development and manufacturability,” Panico added.

The PETN members have a wide range of disciplines, beginning with Xenon Corporation’s sintering capabilities, which convert the printed ink layer into a solid uniform layer of conductive material through the use of pulsed light, as well as inks, printers and more. 

“Xenon’s strongest capability is providing the equipment and technology for “Pulsed Light” sintering of metallic inks for the printed electronic markets,” Panico said. “Xenon brings five decades of experience in “Pulsed Light” technology to facilitate the development and manufacturability of printed electronics products. We have thousands of pulsed light systems operating 24/7 on worldwide production lines.”

Xenon’s sintering systems are available at all of the PETN facilities. Companies interested in joining the PETN can contact Xenon, and those who are interested in testing can contact Xenon at LAPanico@xenoncorp.com.

“We are seeing an abundance of requests for the Testing Network from end-users and machine makers,” Panico said. “The quantity of application testing requests is growing exponentially. The biggest challenge is bringing the printed electronics market from the R&D stage to meeting the needs of a variety of R2R processes, specifically substrate adhesion and metallic ink thickness.”

Intrinsiq Materials manufactures nanoparticle-based screen and inkjet inks. Dr. Sujatha Ramanujan, chief operating officer for Intrinsiq Materials, said there is a lot to consider when it comes to developing printed electronics applications.

“When people want to test out their systems, we invite them to come in and work with our engineers,” Dr. Ramanujan said. “There is a lot of interaction between substrates, inks and sintering, and we want to find out the best solution that the customer will know works. If you send an ink without a clear explanation of what to do, it’s not very useful. “

Methode Electronics offers conductive inks, dielectrics and resistive carbon technologies that can be printed by screen, flexo, gravure and inkjet. Paul Lindquist, business development manager at Methode Electronics, said that while a few sectors of printed electronics, such as screen printing polymer thick films, have been around a significant time, a vast majority of the printed electronics market is emerging. 

“The various contributing components are not as well understood and substrate, ink, curing and printing technologies are far more sensitive in the printed electronics market then traditional printing,” Lindquist noted. “This makes it very critical for co-suppliers to the market to collaborate to enable solutions for end users. Methode Electronics Inc. joined the Printed Electronic Testing Network because, like Xenon, we saw the need for this collaboration to help the printed electronics market emerge.”

Lindquist noted that the company has spent a significant amount of development time on ink interaction with the substrates, curing and printing mechanisms. 

“We are capable of printing conductive circuitry on porous and non-porous substrates and have worked with co-suppliers to be able to offer a total solution to our customer base, making it easier for the customer to put the process to work for them,” Lindquist said. “The challenges from end-users range from initial feasibility, building prototypes, meeting standards that have been based on a different means of creating the circuit, cost requirements although way to taking the plunge to invest in capital equipment for a production line. In almost all applications, the end-user are either innovators or early adopters and change is always difficult.”

Dr. Rich Baker, president of Integrity Industrial Ink Jet Integration, an inkjet specialist, said that working with customers is a far better approach than simply handing them a test kit and sending them on their way without guidance.

“Instead of giving clients toolkits, we want to work with customers to develop the process,” said Dr. Baker. “The reality is that test kits have nothing to do with the manufacturing process. There are so many different fluids, substrates and applications that people will take years and make many mistakes along the way.

“Together, we can offer our expertise to help our customers determine what will work best for their application,” Dr. Baker said. “We feel we can work with our partners in the Test Network to come up with complete solutions. It's a great idea.”

“To end-users determining if a printed electronics solution is suitable for their application, it can be a very daunting task that requires a lot of ‘in house’ expertise,” Lindquist added. “The advantage of the Printed Electronics Testing Network is that it minimizes the contact points to determine if an application is feasible. For the members, having any collaboration which speeds up the adoption of printed electronics is good for the group overall. The more successes in the market, the greater the opportunities that will follow.”

SonoPlot specializes in material deposition technology, including its Microplotters, which are R&D scale devices. Glen Donald, CEO of SonoPlot, said the collaborative nature of the PETN partners is benefitting customers.

“We are developing relationships with ink vendors to create custom products that fit our customers’ needs,” said Donald. “We are able to develop complete solutions that customers can take home with them.”

“Now that we have a good curing solution we can help people who are using flexible substrates,” added Dr. Brad Larson, SonoPlot’s chief technology officer. “With Xenon, we can work with a wide range of inks and cure them in a matter of minutes. We have had several people come to us looking to enhance their operations or to develop new applications.”

The printed electronics industry is worldwide, and the testing network also spans the globe. For example, Peter Schullerer of Polytec, a specialist in measuring instruments, said that his company is seeing rapidly growing interest in printed electronics in Europe. He added that it is good to have the chance to offer photonic sintering expertise directly to customers.

“We see rapidly increasing interest coming from universities and institutes and more and more from the R&D departments in industry,” Schullerer said. “The Printed Electronics Testing Network brings the photonic sintering knowledge and testing capabilities much closer to the customer. As a member, we profit having an even closer connection to the end customers.

“Our customers keep us and our lab very busy,” Schullerer added. “One challenge for us is the huge variety of printed materials, printing techniques and substrates our customer bring for testing purposes.”

Gianluigi Guarato, product manager for Elexind s.r.l., said that printed electronics is a new, exciting business opportunity, and being part of this network helps him become more acquainted with evolutions of this technology.

“Networking always offers great advantage of cross fertilization and sharing of developments,” Mr. Guarato said. “We see the market growing linearly until 2016, then in 2017 it will grow even more, and near exponential until 2020.”

“There is a lot of development going on,” said Mark Dahlin, senior engineer, TEXMAC Inc., which works with Newlong Screen Printing, a screenprinting equipment manufacturer whose machines run the gamut from R&D to roll-to-roll for production. “We can screenprint conductive ink on circuit boards, and Xenon can sinter it immediately. This demonstrates to customers how they can use printing and sintering hand in hand.”

The ability to learn from partners and customers is a benefit for PETN members. Dr. Ramanujan said that the network is already paying dividends for customers and partners alike. 

“We’ve had clients come in already and test their applications,” Dr. Ramanujan said. “It also helps us learn a lot about what our customers are working on.”

Lindquist said that Methode feels that there will be tremendous growth in the printed electronics market, but acceptance of new technologies takes time. He added that PETN will help end-users develop new products.

“Some sectors will adapt the technology at a faster pace and in others it may not make a dent,” Lindquist said. “Collaborations among co-suppliers such as the Printed Electronics Testing Network as well as increased development and end-user awareness will increase the opportunities and contribute to further growth in the printed electronics market.” 

Panico noted that Xenon Corporation is seeing growth in the printed electronics market, with more than 50 installations worldwide at printed electronics sites, many at various stages of moving towards production. She added that Xenon expects 50 additional installations in 2013, and so far, the company is on track.

“We are very optimistic about printed electronics and plan to continue investing heavily in our engineering programs to support this exciting market,” Panico concluded.

 
China uses Aixtron to move into GaN power electronics

Dec 06, 2012

Dynax Semiconductor is to receive its first Aixtron production system to manufacture gallium nitride on silicon carbide (SiC) and silicon substrates

Chinese firm, Dynax Semiconductor Inc. has placed its first purchase order for an Aixtron Close Coupled Showerhead (CCS) CRIUS MOCVD system.

ccsaix

Aixtron CCS system


The reactor will be used to produce GaN and related nitride semiconductor epitaxial layers on SiC and silicon substrates for microwave and power devices.

Aixtron says it will be the first system in China dedicated to GaN electronics.

After installation and commissioning the system is now ready to produce high quality GaN epi-wafers.

“This is an important step for us”, NaiQian Zhang, President and CEO of Dynax Semiconductors, comments. “High power and high efficiency GaN electronic devices are the key components for next generation power management and data communications. This disruptive technology will help us achieve a sustainable society. The Aixtron reactor is a proven system for this application".

Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President and Program Manager Power Electronics at Aixtron, says, “The Dynax technical team already has extensive experience with Aixtron’s CCS technology. We are looking forward to supporting the customer with our expertise on accelerating the GaN power device market introduction in China.”

Compared to conventional silicon devices, GaN electronic devices provide superior performance in RF and power electronic applications in terms of efficiency and power density.

But two major challenges have to be met.

Due to the strong lattice mismatch between GaN and foreign substrates, GaN has to be grown in a special process.

To compete with silicon devices, manufacturing costs have to be as low as possible which requires MOCVD technology to provide high uniformity and reproducibility.

Dynax Semiconductor Inc., Suzhou, was founded in 2011 to manufacture GaN electronic devices. The company is based in Kunshan, Jiangsu province in east China. Dynax produces electronic devices for electronics, data communications, automotives, and motor control markets.

 
New Large Area UV Curing System for Semiconductor and display applications

For Semiconductor and Display Application Cures, XENON CORP Introduces LUXON 300—The New "Large Area" Pulsed UV Curing System

20 November 2012

Xenon Corporation announces the development- and availability- of the Luxon 300 Modular Light System, designed to provide pulsed UV curing for the large area targets of semiconductors and display applications. The dual 12” U lamps are at the heart of the system and can process areas to 12” x 12” or 12” (300mm) diameter with unprecedented cure uniformity. The system was specifically developed to meet the demanding requirements of inline curing applications that include low heat and fast throughput which cannot be solved with mercury UV systems.

In addition to low heat and fast throughput, the benefits and features that the market has come to expect from Xenon lamps are continued in The Luxon 300: lower power consumption, high peak power coupled with deep penetration, and instant start/stop.

Applications include semiconductor processing and displays. The Luxon 300 also is excellent for medical device manufacturing, pharmaceutical packaging, and sintering applications. Because of its abilities to bond without damage, The Luxon 300 is ideal for use with plastics, and its rapid, low heat curing capabilities are attractive to manufacturers of adhesives, inks and coatings.

The Luxon 300, which is available as OEM or stand-alone, is designed to function as part of integrated manufacturing systems that operate continuously, (24/7), producing high yields with minimum downtime. A low voltage, optically isolated I/O using a programmable controller handles system interfacing. The system holds promise for long-term reliable operation.

 
AIXTRON Introduces AIX G5+

5x200 mm GaN-on-Si Technology for the AIX G5 Reactor Platform

Aachen, July 24, 2012 – With its latest product, AIX G5+, AIXTRON SE has introduced a 5x200 mm GaN-on-Si (Gallium Nitride on Silicon) technology package for its AIX G5 Planetary Reactor platform. Following a customer-focused development program, this technology was designed and created in AIXTRON’s R&D laboratory and consists of specially designed reactor hardware and process capabilities. It is now available as a part of the AIX G5 product family and any existing G5 system can be upgraded to this latest version. Details of G5+ have already been disclosed to some of AIXTRON’s key customers.

Aix_G5

AIX G5+: fully rotationally symmetrical uniformity pattern on all five wafers

“GaN-on-Si technology is a hot topic for MOCVD users and manufacturers today”, states Dr. Rainer Beccard, Vice President Marketing at AIXTRON. “It is the technology of choice for the emerging power electronics market segment, and also a very promising candidate for future high performance and low cost High Brightness LED manufacturing. The wafer size and material plays a crucial role when it comes to cost effective manufacturing processes, and thus the transition to 200 mm Standard Silicon wafers is a logical next step on the manufacturing roadmaps, as it offers unique economies of scale.”

”Being convinced that uniformity and yield are the key success criteria in 200 mm GaN-on-Si processes, AIXTRON conducted a dedicated R&D program”, adds Dr. Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President and Program Manager Power Electronics at AIXTRON. “We started the development process by conducting an extensive simulation program, which enabled us to design fundamentally new hardware components that provide unique process performance in our 5x200 mm processes, while still being compatible with the well-proven AIX G5 reactor platform.” The results are extremely stable processes, providing much better uniformity of material properties and enabling higher device yield than any other MOCVD platform, whilst offering a reactor capacity of 5x200 mm.

Some initial feedback from customers confirms the success of this technological development. Many of them have noted in particular that the fully rotationally symmetrical uniformity pattern on all five 200 mm wafers, the use of standard thickness silicon substrates and the controlled wafer bow behavior is exactly what they require for silicon-style manufacturing. “This uniformity pattern has been an inherent feature of AIXTRON’s Planetary Reactor technology, which we can now successfully obtain on 200 mm GaN-on-Si-wafers”, underlines Dr. Wischmeyer.

The term Planetary Reactor® is a registered trademark.


 
TECHNOTUBES Project –AIXTRON Launches New BM 300T Carbon Nanotubes System

TECHNOTUBES Project –AIXTRON Launches New BM 300T Carbon Nanotubes System

Aachen, Germany, July 5, 2012 – AIXTRON SE announced the successful conclusion
of the European Commission-funded “TECHNOTUBES” (Technology for Wafer-Scale
Carbon Nanotubes) project, with a demonstration of its new automated growth equipment,
BM 300T.

The aim of the 3-year project was to develop growth processes, automated equipment,
quality control/monitoring and a variety of end-applications based on carbon nanotubes. The
members of the project consortium were the University of Cambridge (coordinator), ETH
Zurich, TU Denmark, TU Berlin, Fritz Haber Institute, CNR-Italy, Philips, THALES,
Cambridge CMOS Sensors, IMEC, and AIXTRON.

Prof. John Robertson, the project coordinator from the University of Cambridge, comments,
“This unique project brings together world-class partners from industry and research to
create a carbon nanotube value chain, from growth equipment to material production to
exploitable devices. The key applications that emerged from this project include
interconnects, thermal interface materials, medical and security X-ray sources, gas
detectors, biological probes, microfluidics and novel energy storage devices. We are grateful
to the European Commission for providing the funding which made this project possible.”

Dr. Ken Teo, Director of Nanoinstruments adds, “Our role at AIXTRON was to create a
system capable of depositing various carbon nanotube structures that met the requirements
of these applications. The challenge was to integrate various processes (single-wall, multiwall,
straight vertical nanotubes) into a single platform offering the uniformity, repeatability
and a high degree of automation that industrial production partners demand. The BM 300T
system we have developed successfully achieves these goals by enabling high throughput,
wafer-scale carbon nanotube production, incorporating thermal and plasma deposition,
precursor activation and a novel wafer loading and heating system.”

 
Fujifilm Dimatix Introduces SG-1024 industrial Single-Pass Printhead and adds Redijet™ Jetting Technology to its printheads line-up for DRUPA 2012

Santa Clara, CA, March 5, 2012 - FUJIFILM Dimatix , Inc., the world's leading supplier of drop-on-demand inkjet printheads for industrial applications, will exhibit its comprehensive range of industrial inkjet solutions on the Fujifilm booth in Hall 8b at dupa 2012(Dusseldorf, Germany May 3rd-16th, within the specially designated 'Technology Leadership Zone;.

FUJIFILM Dimatix will use drupa 2012 to display its extensive printhead product line for wide graphics, commercial printing, decorative and material deposition application. Visitors to the stand will see a select range of material disposition systems, including the DMP-2831 and DMP-3000, designed for fluids, process and product development for divere applications including printed electronics.

The company will also use the show to introduce and demonstrate its new SG-1024/M-- a high nozzle density, drop-on-demand, inkjet printhead designed specifically for demanding industrial single-pass printing and decorative applications.

The strength of the SG-1024 lays with its easy to integrate, high performace repairable construction that combines superior jetting performance in a compact, self-contained design. Eaxh printhead has 1024 independant jets arranged in 8 rows, each with 128 channels.

With singular durable metal nozzle plate, the first model, the SG-1024/M has a nominal 20-30 picoliter drop size (fluid dependent) and is compatible with aqueous, oil-based ceramic inks and associated maintenance fluids. When combined with VersaDropTM jetting technology, this printhead has full grayscale operation with drop sizes to 80 picoliters.

The SG-1024/M incorporates Dimatix new RediJet jetting technology. Redijet consolidates several breakthrough innovations such as unique nozzle plate design, special conformal and non-wetting surface coatings, enhanced on-head electronics, ink recirculation and waveforms tailored to specific fluids.

RediJet unlocks the full productive capacity of a printhead while lowering the recurring service cost. The defining characteristics of this technology is minimizing initial start-up and ongoing maintenance times along with reducing associated fluid consumption, especially when using faster drying/or heavily pigmented ink formulations like those found in high-speed, industrial , single-pass systems, As the name invokes--RediJet is 'ready to jet' when you are and is a key enabler of SG-1024 based high speed, industrial single-pass inkjet system designs.

FUJIFILM Dimatix will also display its 'SAMBATM' MEMS printhead on a chip technology- a core component used within the 'Jet Press 720'. Developed jointly by FUJIFILM Dimatix and FUJIFILM Corporation. SAMBA ia an extensible 'printhead on a chip technology'. It is analogous to the evolution of the integrated Circuit (IC) from a single chip with limited functionality to Large Scale Integration(LSI) incorporating Thousands of integrated funstions. This breakthrough in printhead design results in the potential of achieving the packing density and cost of Thermal Inkjet(TIJ), with high throughput of Continuous Inkjet(CIJ), yet providing the operational felxibility associated with Piezo Inkjet(PIJ).

 
PrintoCent Pilot Factory inauguration presenting new Coatema concept

19th of March 2012

Due to the constant growth in the field of Printed Electronics VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Business Oulu founded PrintoCent already in 2009. This is an innovation centre offering business development and pilot production environment to manufacture components, product demonstrations and solutions based on Printed Intelligence technologies. On March 13th, 2012 the Printocent Pilot Factory was inaugurated in Oulu, Finland. This is also the first time that the new production line build by Coatema was presented. This line includes an inline process on two floors, which enables all needed printing, coating and other steps to manufacture large area printed electronic devices. This allows a R2R mass production from lab to fab.


The PrintoCent line with a footprint of 11 x 4 m and a height of nearly 5 m is equipped with 4 interchangeable printing units: gravure printing, reverse gravure printing, rotary screen printing and flexography printing. Additional processes such as hot embossing, plasma treatment, lamination, rotary die cut, hot air drying and UV crosslinking as well as an automatic registration are included. The line is operating with a working width of 300 mm and running with an operation speed of up to 30m/min.

The development of this production line was the cornerstone for the concept behind a new line of pilot line coater called Basecoater 3G. These are specifically designed for the production of large area electronics and the main idea is that there are single units designed in 1.000 mm long sections which are completely enclosed. Because of this modular design a line can be combined aligned to customer needs.

 
Fujifilm Dimatix Materials Printer Garners the Grand Prize at Printable Electronics 2012 Japan

Award recognizes Dimatix DMP-2831 for its considerable contribution to the field of printable electronics.

Santa Clara, CA; February 29, 2012– Citing the FUJIFILM Dimatix DMP-2831 Dimatix Materials Printer's considerable contribution to the rapidly growing printable electronics field, judges at Printable Electronics 2012 awarded the show's coveted Grand Prize this year to FUJIFILM Corporation. The international convention held February 15-17 at the Tokyo International Convention Center attracted more than 45,000 visitors.

The FUJIFILM Dimatix inkjet printer won the Grand Prize based on its desktop design, its easily used cartridge-style inkjet printhead and its cost-efficiency in offering these design achievements at a competitive price.

"As an R&D tool, [the FUJIFILM Dimatix DMP-2831] is the most popular inkjet printer installed at various research laboratories, and it is becoming the industry-standard inkjet printer," the judges stated. As a result, they concluded, the Dimatix printer has contributed considerably to the printable electronics field.

Printable electronics describes electrical devices manufactured by thin-film deposition and finely tuned conductive patterning using any of several methods by which one or more inks are printed on various, often flexible substrates.  In 2011, the market for printed, thin-film and organic electronics was expected by market research firm IDTechEx to exceed $2 billion, with 38% of products printed. By 2021, they note, growth driven by photovoltaics, organic LED and e-paper displays, and thin-film transistor circuits, sensors and batteries is forecasted to propel the market to nearly $45 billion, with printed products comprising 56% of the total.

The FUJIFILM Dimatix DMP-2800 is a cartridge-based bench-top materials deposition system designed for micro-precision jetting of functional fluids such as organic polymers, nanoparticles, conductors, dielectrics, resists, nucleotides, enzymes, and proteins without heat or contact onto virtually any surface. It can build and define patterns over an area of 200 x 300 mm onto substrates up to 25 mm thick using user-fillable cartridges – qualities that make short, experimental production runs feasible for a multitude of applications ranging from RFID, flexible electronics and photovoltaics to biosensors and DNA synthesis reactions.

FUJIFILM Dimatix DMP-2800-series printers have won numerous awards, including the Printed Electronics USA Commercialization Award for outstanding achievement in demonstrating the greatest tangible commercial success in photovoltaics or printed electronics, the Design News magazine Golden Mousetrap Award; the Nano 50 Award from Nanotech Briefs® magazine; and the first Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Emerging Technology Award (Biotechnology category), given to emerging companies and technologies that have the potential to profoundly impact people and businesses.

 
Epistar receives its first Aixtron CRIUS II-XL MOCVD system

29 February 2012

Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, Germany says that existing customer Epistar Corp, a manufacturer of optoelectronic materials and devices in Taiwan, has received its first CRIUS II-XL system (in 19x4-inch wafer configuration). The system will be used to mass produce ultra-high-brightness (UHB) blue and white LEDs.

The CRIUS II-XL system has passed the process demonstration and acceptance test. In line with their usual procedure, Epistar will now further qualify the system in mass production. Epistar plans to purchase more CRIUS II-XL systems when they expand their production capacity. “Looking at this first tool, I can see that the CRIUS II-XL will make a huge difference to our productivity,” notes Epistar’s president Dr Ming-Jiunn Jou. “Thanks to its seamless process compatibility with our earlier-generation reactors, the latest CRIUS technology is set to rapidly and efficiently drive forward future capacity expansion and technology advances,” he reckons.

“With the purchase of our latest system, the CRIUS II-XL, Epistar continues to pursue its cutting-edge production and engineering innovation in epitaxial growth,” comments Aixtron’s chief operating officer Dr Bernd Schulte. “The CRIUS II-XL design concept offers the largest productivity with best-in-class uniformities, which massively increases yield and directly translates into enhanced competitiveness for Epistar’s products in an ever demanding marketplace,” he adds.

Located at the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park in Taiwan, Epistar has for over a decade been focused on the development, manufacture and marketing of UHB LED products. Using its proprietary MOCVD process technology, it continues to commercialize a full range of UHB LEDs.

Launched by Aixtron last November, the CRIUS II-XL configuration offers a reactor capacity as high as 19x4 inch wafers (up 46% on the original CRIUS II), giving it the highest throughput and lowest cost of ownership in the LED industry, it is claimed.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>

Page 2 of 2