Nantero Carbon Nanotube Technology and HP Thermal Inkjet Used for Printable Flexible Electronic Memory

Nantero, Inc., a nanotechnology company using carbon nanotubes for the development of next-generation semiconductor devices, is working with HP to explore the use of HP inkjet technology and Nantero’s carbon nanotube (CNT) formulation to create flexible electronics products and develop low cost printable memory applications.

Nantero is using HP’s Thermal Inkjet Pico-Fluidic System (TIPS) research and development tool to evaluate the company’s inkjet technology for printable memory applications that can be used in a wide range of applications including low cost RFID tags. TIPS adapts HP’s Scalable Print Technology for testing a wide variety of fluids including Nantero’s CMOS grade CNT formulation, a core building block for the NRAMTM memory product. HP’s core thermal inkjet technology provides intelligent heads with high nozzle density, large drop size range, excellent volumetric precision, world-class formulation expertise and production scale.

The companies’ collaboration is part of an HP initiative to extend HP inkjet printing technology into non hardcopy applications where accurate placement of small drops and deposition of precise volumes of fluid is required. This technology is especially applicable when complex surfaces or specialized coatings are part of the challenge. The goal is to assist customers in capturing the advantages of additive drop-on-demand technology in their production processes as an alternative to traditional manufacturing methodologies.

“Working with HP and its TIPS system to explore the printability of our NRAM memory cell can open up entirely new application spaces in the memory segment,” said Greg Schmergel, CEO and co-founder of Nantero. “For example, a printable NRAM memory could be deposited on flexible substrates to enable very low cost RFID tags.”

The combination of HP printing technology with Nantero’s knowledge of CNT memory applications is expected to provide valuable alternatives to companies seeking low cost memory solutions on flexible substrates.

“For the semiconductor industry, this approach may offer both substantial cost advantages as well as enable new electronics applications on flexible substrates when combined with technology such as Nantero’s material system and memory expertise,” said Kathy Tobin, vice president of Specialty Printing Systems at HP.

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