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Posted: March 21, 2008
U.S. Display Consortium Awards Optomec Contract to Develop Novel Printing Technology
(Nanowerk News) Optomec today announced that the company has received a one-year development contract from the U.S. Display Consortium (USDC) to further develop its M3D Aerosol Jet System, enabling finer resolution line widths and faster, more efficient production capabilities for printed electronics. The $750,000 cost-shared award will provide Optomec the opportunity to extend its proprietary additive manufacturing technology to a level that has not been possible before through more traditional printing techniques. The USDC, headquartered in San Jose, California, is a public/private partnership chartered with developing the flexible electronics and displays industry supply chain.
Under the USDC agreement, Optomec will focus on developing a printing platform for next generation devices, such as high-density circuitry for printable electronics, displays, and photovoltaic cells. The new printing system will use a multi-nozzle aerosol jet deposition that eliminates the need for screens or stencils required by traditional contact deposition processes, while enabling much finer resolution, down to 4 microns fine line-widths. The new Optomec system will have many advantages over ink jet printing, which is currently the preferred process for printed electronics. In addition, the additive process employed by M3D reduces environmental impact by minimizing the waste and chemicals that are part of more traditional manufacturing processes.
"The USDC project will build on Optomec's existing printed electronics solution, which is already gaining traction in the production of more efficient solar cells, embedded sensors, and life science devices," offered David Ramahi, President of Optomec, further adding: "We are particularly pleased that the USDC provides Optomec a unique opportunity to collaborate with industry as we extend our solution to applications in flexible electronics. This allows us to be fully sensitive to the needs of users and will serve to speed the adoption of our technology in this market."
“The USDC Technical Council members are a diverse group of companies, with a wide range of products under development. They are very enthusiastic about Optomec’s technology and the opportunity it represents to provide the best solutions for industry,” noted Mark Hartney, USDC’s CTO. “Nanomas Technologies of Vestal, New York, will be a subcontractor to Optomec, supplying custom ink formulations to optimize printer performance, plus assisting in materials characterization. USDC strongly encourages partnerships between vendors that often enable breakthrough solutions to help meet requirements for greater efficiencies.”
“I congratulate Optomec for receiving this competitive award from USDC,” stated Senator Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM). “I am excited about New Mexico’s role in developing the breakthrough technology that will pave the way for success in large area electronics, including displays and photovoltaics. Optomec’s role in developing this technology will greatly accelerate progress in this emerging field.”
USDC 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 USDC member companies. The USDC 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. More information about the USDC can be found at www.usdc.org and www.fpoelectronics.org.
Optomec is the leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets with over 60 systems installed world-wide. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D Aerosol Jet technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The M3D Aerosol Jet system utilizes an innovative aerodynamic focusing technology that enables printing of electronic or biologic materials with feature sizes down to 10 microns and layer thicknesses down to 5 nanometers. The M3D system supports a wide variety of materials including nanoparticle inks and screen-printing pastes, conductive polymers, insulators, adhesives, and even biological matter that can be accurately deposited at room temperature onto a wide range of planar and non-planar substrates. These capabilities make M3D a breakthrough technology for many printing applications including fuel cells, solar cells, molded interconnected devices, high throughput screening and more. Recently, M3D was awarded the Best New Manufacturing Technology for the production of high efficiency solar cells. More information about Optomec can be found at www.optomec.com.
M3D and Aerosol Jet are registered trademarks of Optomec.
LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.