BOSTON, December 10, 2019 Carpe Diem Technologies, Inc. (Carpe Diem) has signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Minnesota for the commercialization of breakthrough printed electronics technology. The technology is called SCALE (Self-aligned Capillarity-Assisted Lithography for Electronics), and is particularly suitable for printing on flexible substrates, such as paper and plastic.
As Carpe Diem’s CEO John S. Berg explains, “University of Minnesota Professors Daniel Frisbie and Lorraine Francis cleverly harnessed the natural force of capillary action to deliver electronic inks self-aligned into nano imprinted substrates. Immediate applications for this technology include smart labels for consumer products from food to pharmaceuticals, flexible displays, and distributed self-powered sensors.”
Until now, these applications were difficult because traditional printing tools (inkjet, screen print, gravure) were inadequate to the task of making the small aligned features required in electronics. “Nano imprint lithography (NIL) solved the problem of the required small dimensions, and, with this invention, simultaneously solves the problem of alignment with the same level of precision.”
Using this invention, an initial alignment layer is created with fluid channels which “wicks” the inks to where they are needed. Importantly, this wicking comes from larger reservoirs on the substrate which are easily filled by inkjet (flexo or screen print). The circuit then “virtually” builds itself with dimensions and alignment defined in the first imprint layer.
A complete electronic toolbox of resistors, capacitors, diodes, and transistors has been demonstrated. Carpe Diem is developing applications – NIL masters, and the requisite R2R NIL equipment – and is making those available to customers and sublicensees.