High-rate Manufacturing of Electronic Systems-on-Film
Navy STTR FY2010.A

Sol No.: Navy STTR FY2010.A
Topic No.: N10A-T031
Topic Title: High-rate Manufacturing of Electronic Systems-on-Film
Proposal No.: N10A-031-0222
Firm: Versatilis LLC
488 Ridgefield Rd
Shelburne, Vermont 05482-6311
Contact: AjayKumar Jain
Phone: (650) 380-4763
Web Site: www.versatls.com
Abstract: This STTR seeks to develop a high-throughput, low-cost enabling technology for the manufacturing of electronic systems-on-film. It posits a novel concept of introducing percolation networks into semiconducting "inks" to increase by at least an order of magnitude the very low carrier mobilities (<1 cm2/Vs) found in today's "printed" electronics, which severely limit the current range of potential applications. Such percolation inks can be used with several techniques to print thin film transistors (TFTs) and related electronics in a R2R manufacturing paradigm. Working with Lehigh University (Prof. Miltos Hatalis and Lehigh's Displays Research Lab) as our Research Partner, we propose in Phase I to show feasibility of such an enhanced semiconducting ink by formulating it, and then "printing" and characterizing a number of representative TFTs. We will further propose a general process for manufacturing electronic systems-on-film; e.g. a flexible detector array or flex active matrix (AM) TFT array as a display backplane with integrated drivers, to be demonstrated in a Phase II. The technology would significantly revolutionize today's "printed" electronics industry; enabling a broad variety of high potential, low cost, flexible electronics applications such as flexible OLED displays.
Benefits: The specific process technology proposed improves carrier mobility in printed TFTs, enabling low cost, lower resolution printing and R2R manufacturing to become practical (cost effective); it is compatible with current chemistries and temperature ranges in the nascent "printed" electronics world, and levers existing technological and capital platforms, from manufacturing and production to inspection and analysis: it will be easily adopted and low in cost; no $$$ billion investment; no significant technological hurdles; quicker time-to-market. Electronic systems-on-film resulting from such technology have myriad applications in both Navy/DOD and commercial markets: flexible displays, lighting panels, e-paper, solar cells, batteries, sensors, actuators, radio and antennas. Moreover, multiple devices and functionalities can be integrated on the same flexible backplane, e.g., full color video display, sound, sensing, etc. Electronic systems-on-film products can be interactive, energy-efficient and ultra-low cost (throwaway). They can lead to electronic devices which are conformable, foldable, stretchable, rollable and deformable, all capabilities of particular interest to the Navy and DoD. Moreover, The concept could, in theory, also be applied more broadly to alternate semiconductor systems: a-Si:H, Metal Oxides and even III-Vs (although each is a separate R+D project)