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Optomec to Develop Printing System for Displays, Electronics

Photonics.com
Mar 2008
Optomec of Albuquerque, N.M., announced today that it has received a one-year, $750,000 contract from the US Display Consortium (USDC) to further develop its M3D aerosol-jet printing system, currently used in solar cells, embedded sensors and life science devices, for flexible displays and electronics. The M3D can print electronic or biologic materials as small as 10 µm and as thin as 5 nm, depositing nanoparticle inks, screen-printing pastes, conductive polymers, insulators, adhesives or biological matter onto a range of planar and nonplanar substrates for applications including fuel cells, molded interconnected devices and high-throughput screening. Under the agreement, Optomec will develop a printing platform for next-generation devices, such as high-density circuitry for printable electronics, displays, and photovoltaic cells. The new system will use a multinozzle 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-µm fine linewidths. It will offer advantages over ink-jet printing, currently the preferred process for printed electronics, Optomec said, and will also use less chemicals and generate less waste than more traditional manufacturing processes. NanoMas Technologies of Vestal, N.Y., will supply custom ink for the printer and assist in materials characterization, Optomec said. The USDC, located in San Jose, Calif., is a public/private partnership working to advance the flexible electronics and displays industries.



GLOSSARY
aerosol
A two-phase system consisting of dispersed liquid or solid particles in a gas; examples include dust, smoke and clouds.
electronics
That branch of science involved in the study and utilization of the motion, emissions and behaviors of currents of electrical energy flowing through gases, vacuums, semiconductors and conductors, not to be confused with electrics, which deals primarily with the conduction of large currents of electricity through metals.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
resolution
1. In optics, the ability of a lens system to reproduce the points, lines and surfaces in an object as separate entities in the image. 2. The minimum adjustment increment effectively achievable by a positioning mechanism. 3. In image processing, the accuracy with which brightness, spatial parameters and frame rate are divided into discrete levels.
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