BASF forms CMOS alliance

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BASF Future Business is extending its technology portfolio and cooperation network in the printed electronics sector by starting a collaboration with the US company Polyera Corporation.

The partnership will focus on the development and commercialisation of new organic semiconductors and dielectrics for use in CMOS-analogue printed circuits. The partners intend to develop these materials as well as a printed prototype CMOS circuit within the next three years.

CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) denotes the use of two complementary types of semiconductors: n-type semiconductors for negative charges and p-type semiconductors for positive charges. According to BASF, CMOS circuitry is simpler to design, has superior performance and is more energy efficient than circuitry based on a single type of semiconductor. Common CMOS circuits are currently based on inorganic materials and are manufactured in cost intensive processes.

Organic material sets make it possible to print CMOS-circuits on flexible substrates. This will make organic CMOS circuits cheaper and easier to produce than standard CMOS circuits and enables printed electronics to open up new markets. The market volume for printed electronics is expected to rise to over €30bn by 2015 from currently €3bn, according to independent consultants IDTechEx, Cambridge, UK. Typical applications of printed electronics will be RFID tags, memory units and flexible displays (e-paper).

‘In addition to our combined strengths in developing new material systems, BASF’s expertise in scaling up new products quickly and bringing them to market is very important to us. We are confident that our partnership will greatly enable the commercialisation of printed electronics, as lack of superior materials is acknowledged to be one of the major bottlenecks in the industry,” said Philippe Inagaki, Co-Founder of Polyera Corporation.