Optomec, a fast growing supplier of advanced manufacturing equipment for the Electronics, Photovoltaics, Display and Defense industries, announced today that the company's Aerosol Jet deposition system has been selected to be part of the PETEC (Printable Electronics Technology Centre) facility. The Aerosol Jet system, which will be installed at PETEC's location in County Durham, UK, will be primarily used to prototype Organic Thin Film Transistors (OTFTs). The system will be located in a Class 100 cleanroom that contains process equipment for 300mm panel fabrication on glass or flex.
Dr. Simon Ogier, PETEC R&D Manager, states, “We are eager to work with this new technology for depositing active layers of organic devices. It will allow us to learn much about the performance that can be achieved in high resolution printed devices.” The system is one of the items of equipment purchased under the LACE project (Large Area Coating Equipment), and is part financed by the European Union's ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13. PETEC's LACE project has secured a total of £2M ERDF investment through regional development agency One North East. The ERDF programme is bringing over £250M into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.
PETEC is a new design, development and prototyping facility that has brought together leading experts in printable and plastic electronics to help industrial and academic clients bring products to market quickly, cost-effectively and with minimal risk. PETEC's role is to drive product innovation through all the necessary stages of development, including concept, design, materials formulation, prototyping and fabrication. These functions are supported by a range of application development, testing, validation, process development and optimization services. Several European-based companies are already using the PETEC facilities to test and develop their new organic electronic prototypes.
The Aerosol Jet system is ideally suited to be part of the PETEC facility because the technology is able to print the fundamental building blocks for printed electronics. The technology is most suited to printing the challenging fine resolution features of the source and drain electrodes in TFTs, in addition to the active channel and other material layers in these electronic device structures. These materials can be combined and layered to make more complex devices and circuits. The ability to print fine features (<10 microns) and work at room temperatures without vacuum processing means the process is an enabling technology for many emerging printed and large area applications.
Dave Ramahi, Optomec President/CEO, states that “PETEC is a state-of-the-art facility that is breaking new ground in the development of printed thin film transistors. The Aerosol Jet system will help PETEC and their clients to take TFT printing to the next level.”
Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Photovoltaic, Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec's proprietary Aerosol Jet and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.