PragmatIC Printing Ltd, a Cambridge-based pioneer in imprinted logic circuits, is collaborating with European allies on research, development and exploitation of flexible electronics.
The ideaSpace company has joined forces with the Holst Centre, an open-innovation initiative by imec (Belgium) and TNO (Netherlands) in the initiative.
PragmatIC’s novel IP in semiconductor device architectures and processes opens up a range of new possibilities for Holst Centre’s research programme relating to oxide semiconductors, transistors and circuits.
This formal partnership follows an extensive evaluation of Holst Centre’s amorphous oxide semiconductor and related material stack, confirming its suitability for printed logic based on PragmatIC’s unique approach.
As well as fundamental R & D, the collaboration has also already contributed towards the practical application of flexible electronics. PragmatIC’s customer-led prototyping of integrated product concepts has been accelerated by Holst Centre’s expertise in related fields, such as OLEDs-on-flex.
Scott White, PragmatIC’s CEO, said: “This partnership gives PragmatIC access to Holst Centre’s wealth of expertise and extensive R&D resources under an open innovation model. We are also excited about leveraging Holst Centre’s network of partners in order to provide an even broader range of integrated printed electronics concepts for our customers.”
PragmatIC has also completed prototype printed electronic greeting cards for Hallmark subsidiary, Tigerprint Ltd.
The £300k project was supported by grant funding from The Northern Way, a joint initiative between the three northern UK Regional Development Agencies.
The prototypes demonstrate the viability of transistor logic circuits on flexible substrates, integrated into conventional greeting cards alongside other printed electronics technologies – such as conductive inks and thin film batteries – to create a dynamic flashing animation. This is achieved without materially increasing the thickness of the card, and without the complicated assembly required for greeting cards employing conventional electronics.
White said: “This success validates our approach of working closely with customers to apply novel printed electronics technologies to proven, real-world applications.”
PragmatIC Printing enables printed logic circuits that introduce intelligence and interactivity into a wide range of products and applications, in form factors that are not possible using silicon chips.
Last year it acquired the printed electronics business of Nano ePrint Ltd, including its patented technology for planar nano-electronic devices that can uniquely be fabricated in a single layer of semiconductor via single-step imprint patterning.
PragmatIC has extended this proven imprinting process to allow a full range of device and circuit architectures to be printed in transparent, flexible semiconductors at micron and sub-micron scale.
• Photograph shows: PragmatIC CEO, Scott White