InteliSpark client Lux Semiconductors has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant totaling $224,949 for their project “Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing of Highly Crystalline Thin Film Semiconductor Substrates for Flexible Electronics”. Granted by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the goal of this project will be to further develop a patent pending technology process aimed at producing flexible, lightweight, and low-cost semiconductor substrates.
These flexible semiconductor films are seen as the next evolution of the silicon wafer. The current form of the silicon wafer has not changed since it was created over 60 years ago. They are the foundation of over 90% of today’s electronic devices such as computer chips, solar panels, microelectronics, and a variety of sensors and ‘internet of things’ devices. The ability to produce large-area, high-throughput quantities of this material, in a flexible, more durable format would help the next generation of affordable, flexible, and pervasive electronic devices.
Lux Semiconductors will focus on developing innovative technology at a simulated roll-to-roll prototyping scale. Their efforts are to enhance film crystal quality, repeatability, and electronic properties, while preparing the process for integration into a large-scale manufacturing. Currently there are no techniques that exist that are able to produce large-area, highly crystalline silicon or other semiconductor films, that are suitable for high-throughput manufacturing. The commercialization of this ‘wafer 2.0’ will help to shape America’s high-tech semiconductor manufacturing industry for the 21st century.