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Posted: May 5, 2010
CHA Industries High Vacuum Deposition System Accepted by CAMM for Continuous Web Coating Processes
(Nanowerk News) Binghamton University and The Flex Tech Alliance, a public/private partnership chartered with developing the flexible electronics and displays industry supply chain, today announced that the CHA Industries Web Coater has been accepted at the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM).
The CAMM, which is an integral part of Binghamton University’s New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging (S3IP), serves as a microelectronics manufacturing research and development center for industries involved in roll-to-roll (R2R) electronics. Founded by Binghamton University in 2005, the CAMM partners with Endicott Interconnect Technologies and Cornell University, to tackle the challenges of this emergent technology.
The addition of the web coater to CAMM’S impressive array of R2R microelectronics manufacturing equipment is the culmination of a long-standing relationship between CHA Industries and the Flex Tech Alliance. Almost 2 years ago, CHA Industries was chosen by the Flex Tech Alliance to develop a R2R deposition process tool with web handling capability. The partnership draws on CHA’s unique ability to customize design and engineering to address unique application requirements, such as those specified by the Flex Tech Alliance. Funded by the Army Research Laboratory and cost-shared by CHA and Flex Tech Alliance, the $6M partnership project will advance the capability of U.S. industry in the burgeoning flexible microelectronics market.
A major initiative of the partnership was the development of a web coater, which was built under contract to the Flex Tech Alliance. The contract commissioned CHA to develop and characterize a production web/roller coater to understand requirements and characteristics of handling plastic substrate films for the manufacturing of flexible electronics on a continuous web. Working with its member companies and the CAMM, the FlexTech Alliance hopes to use the web coater in commercializing flexible display communications and other flexible electronics products for military and commercial applications, such as medical sensors, solid state lighting, and solar cells.
The web coater was built under contract to the Flex Tech Alliance, which is working with its member companies and the CAMM to commercialize flexible, printed electronics for multiple dual-use (commercial and defense) markets. These include communications, lighting, photovoltaics, and sensors. The contract commissioned CHA to develop and characterize a production web/roller coater to understand requirements and characteristics of handling plastic substrate films for the manufacturing of flexible electronics on a continuous web.
“The CHA web coater, a unique, one-of-a kind system, will be an integral part of the CAMM’s prototype line to develop process methods for manufacturing electronic components on a roll-to-roll basis,” stated Peter Borgesen, PhD, Director of the CAMM. “We are excited to accept this tool from CHA Industries and the Flex Tech Alliance and to put it to use on behalf of our industrial partners and the academic R&D community to develop new applications across many application areas.”
This three-phase project involved the following components: Phase I focused on a design stage evaluation to identify potential causes of defect generation prior to tool construction; Phase II (underway) included tool construction, testing and process development designed for sputter deposition of the necessary materials to fabricate TFTs and TFT precursors on a flexible web up to 24 inches wide; and Phase III will focus on future tool reconfiguration to manufacture organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) for solid state lighting. CAMM hopes to have the web coater operational by the beginning of the summer 2010.
About The Flex Tech Alliance
The Flex Tech Allliance is an industry-led public/private partnership providing a common platform for flat panel display and flexible electronics manufacturers and developers, integrators, and the supplier base. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., the consortium’s primary mission is to identify and manage R&D projects and share results with Flex Tech member companies. The Flex Tech Alliance also provides a communication channel among industry, government and the financial communities; sponsors forums to broaden the impact of technological developments; and educates consumers on the importance of emerging technology.
About Binghamton University
Binghamton University is one of the four university centers of the State University of New York. Known for the excellence of its students, faculty, staff, and programs, Binghamton enrolls over 15,000 students in programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Its curriculum, founded in the liberal arts, has expanded to include selected professional and graduate programs, including those of the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. The campus hosts the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center, a New York State Center of Excellence, which has a nationwide reputation in electronics systems integration and packaging. For more information, visit www.binghamton.edu
CHA Industries High-Vacuum Deposition System - The High-Vacuum R2R coater sputters thin films of metals onto flexible substrates. Funding for the $6M project was shared by CHA and the FlexTech Alliance (formerly United States Display Consortium [USDC]), and included Army Research Laboratory appropriated funding to advance the capability of US industry in the flexible microelectronics market.