Holst Centre, an open-innovation initiative by imec and TNO, and Evonik Industries AG announced a partnership to extend the range and performance of thin-film electronics applications. Evonik has joined Holst Centre’s shared research program on Organic and Oxide Transistors, bringing with it world-class expertise in soluble oxide semiconductor materials. Made from novel semiconductor materials, thin-film electronics offer a number of possibilities that are very appealing to manufacturers and consumers. For example, they can be manufactured using print-like processes, greatly reducing production costs. They can also be produced on thin plastic films, enabling a host of new flexible electronics applications from plastic radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to rollable displays. Turning these possibilities into reality requires new low-temperature solution-based, manufacturing techniques.
The agreement between Holst Centre and Evonik aims to speed up the development of thin-film circuits. Holst Centre and its ecosystem have extensive experience in solution-based CMOS processes, and Evonik is a world leader in soluble oxide semiconductors. The partners will now work together to optimize Evonik’s n-type semiconductors and use them in CMOS processes to create circuits targeting the performance requirements of RFID, display driver and wireless sensor applications.
“Adding Evonik to our ecosystem will help us take a big step towards commercial thin-film production processes and applications. They have some of the best n-type soluble oxide semiconductors in the world. These state-of-the-art materials will help us push the performance of flexible circuits further and open up new applications, while reducing costs and improving circuit robustness,” said Gerwin Gelinck, Organic and Oxide Transistors program manager at Holst Centre.
“Holst Centre has a great track record in realizing complex thin-film circuits. They are one of the few groups that can design such circuits and then go on to demonstrate their properties. Working with them will help us better understand what the industry needs and deliver even better semiconductor materials that meet those requirements,” said Dr. Jürgen Steiger, electronic solutions manager of Evonik Industries.
The new partnership extends an already successful working relationship. For the last three years, Evonik and Holst Centre have been working together as two of the partners in the EU FP7 ORICLA project. ORICLA, which officially ended on 31 December 2012, established a new benchmark for RFID performance and was the first group to use a low-temperature process to fabricate a thin-film RFID circuit capable of bidirectional communication. ORICLA results were presented at the renowned conferences ISSCC2012 and IEDM2012.Yvonne Klöpping