Motorola Labs, the research arm of Motorola, has won a $7.85M award to develop novel organic electronic materials and processing technologies for application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).
The award was granted by the Advanced Technology Program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Motorola will team with The Dow Chemical Company and Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on the project.
The new organic semiconductor materials are expected to enable fabrication of large-area electronic devices, such as displays, that are currently difficult to produce with conventional materials due to cost and size issues. The organic materials will enable the use of relatively inexpensive printing technologies rather than more expensive semiconductor lithography.
A variety of organic and hybrid semiconductor materials will be evaluated, along with both mature and experimental printing methods. The team intends to develop novel polymeric semiconductors with acceptable electronic and physical properties, rapid and fine-featured large-area printing techniques to deposit the material, and device packaging for robust and reliable use. The devices will be thin-film transistors, similar to light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Polymers have been targeted because they offer a number of benefits, including low processing cost. The current understanding of polymeric semiconductors and device operation is limited. In addition to developing a printable polymer with the requisite conductivity and purity, the researchers must meet high-volume cost targets.
Once the technology is developed, prototype systems will be fabricated. If successfully developed and commercialised, the new technology is expected to greatly reduce the cost of manufacturing superior products such as active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs), smart cards and automotive electronics, as well as enable the marketing of new systems such as electronic paper (digital document display). The project will span four years.