SBIR Phase II: Flexible Organic Circuits with Photolithography for eReader Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1230454
Agency Tracking Number: 1230454
Amount: $499,951.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
95 Brown Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850-1257
DUNS: 830649823
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John DeFranco
 (917) 687-5792
Business Contact
 John DeFranco
Phone: (917) 687-5792
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project aims to quickly enable the large-scale manufacturing of organic and flexible electronic devices by leveraging the existing infrastructure used in the display industry. Currently, proven manufacturing techniques do not exist that can make flexible electronics at scale, and all proposed methods would require the abandonment of billions of dollars of equipment and decades of manufacturing expertise based around photolithography. This proposal aims to solve this problem, using photoresist technology that is designed to work with a wide range of materials including organic electronics. Previous research has established the feasibility of these resists, but there is still much work needed to apply the technology to more complex and integrated systems, especially when working with flexible substrates. The Phase I project has revealed the areas of improvement needed to reach mass production and high yields for demanding display applications. This project will address these issues and will create a high-performance process capable of making flexible eReaders with high yield. Researchers will work with industrial and academic partners to gain a better understanding of all of the issues required to be overcome as the process is scaled up to a real application. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be very large for the display industry, which seeks to manufacture innovative flexible eReader displays for the large worldwide education market. The broader commercial potential lies in the sales of high-margin and high-volume chemicals to an industry that will quickly ramp production. The photoresist market for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) is currently $1.2 billion, and it is anticipated that the proposed technology will dominate the organic electronic resist market, which is anticipated to reach similar values. The societal benefits will be seen when the eReaders are brought to classrooms around the world. Their low weight, low power consumption, and physical robustness will allow these displays to fully replace heavy and expensive textbooks, changing the lives of millions of children domestically, and in developing countries such as China and Russia.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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