A thin-film electronic backplane production process developed by PowerFilm Inc. and technology giant HP took top R+D honors at the 2010 Flexible Electronics + Displays Conference this month in Phoenix.
The HP-PowerFilm partnership’s Self-Aligned Imprint Lithography, or SAIL, process received the 2010 FLEXI Award in the R+D category. Imprint lithography’s ideal suitability to the roll-to-roll process was recognized in the award from the San Jose, Calif.-based FlexTech Alliance for electronic display and flexible, printed electronics.
Specifically, the award named four attributes that make SAIL perfect for the process that makes electronic backplanes by molding a 3-D masking structure atop a stack of unpatterned thin films:
- High resolution
- Compatability with flexible substrates
- High throughput
- Ability to reproduce complex 3D structures
The ability of SAIL to maintain perfect alignment in the face of process induced distortion represents significant cost savings by eliminating an expensive aligning process used in the current method of creating thin-film transistor arrays.
“This technology partnership with HP has allowed PowerFilm to extend its core roll-to-roll manufacturing expertise beyond PV [photovoltaics] and into additional thin film semiconductor devices,” said PowerFilm CEO Frank Jeffrey. “We welcome this industry recognition of the SAIL process for thin film electronics, which in turn may enable future markets for next-generation flat panel displays, RFID tags, electronic paper and more.”
In presenting the 2010 FLEXI Awards on Feb. 3, FlexTech CEO Michael Ciesinski said submission of multiple nominations in each category – R+D, product development and leadership in education – showed building momentum in the flexible, printed electronics industry.
For a news release announcing all 2010 FLEXI Award recipients and detailing the winning SAIL process, visit: www.flextech.org/au-news-detail.aspx?item=26917
PowerFilm, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of thin, flexible solar panels based on a proprietary low cost production process. The company’s objective is to target the building integrated solar power market, and to continue to supply products for selected portable and remote solar power applications. PowerFilm is based in Ames, Iowa.
PowerFilm was founded in 1988 by Dr. Frank Jeffrey and Dr. Derrick Grimmer, both former 3M research physicists, with a combined 65 years of experience in semiconductor and solar energy research and development.